Sunday, October 09, 2005

leaving children behind (3/25/20005)

What is this focus on no child being left behind?
According to President George Bush, it is the
“cornerstone” of his administration. In theory,
it was designed to improve the quality of education
offered by the public school system. However, the real
question is, has it made a positive impact on the educational
process in the country?

I would suggest that it hasn’t—for several reasons. The first
is fiscal; since the President signed NCLB, the funding has
not been there, at least not at the level required to implement
and make a significant impact on improving basic skills required
by students to perform successfully in the real world, as well
as in academia. The fact is, it remains an unfunded mandate.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Dem.www.-CA), indicated that
the 2004 budget submitted by President Bush fell $9 billion short
of the amount authorized for 2004 approved funding. In addition,
his efforts fail to consider the magnitude of Title I funding, which
is the main federal apparatus for funding education for poor
children at the state and local level.The President seems to be
all over the place with his approach to education. Although he
says it is the central focus of his platform, in 2002 he fought for
the repeal of an initiative to modernize America’s schools, which
would go a long way in making schools more equitable and
provide a safer environments for learning. I do agree with the
premise that “no child should be left behind.” My concern is that
failing to fund the program may cause more children to be left
behind educationally, particularly those who are poor
and African American. --torrance stephens

Stephens is the author of the novel A Matter of Attention
and two books of short stories called Rockstar, Stud, Gigolo and
Fast and Gamin, available at
amazon.com and bbotw.com.


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