Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Bright Kids are being Left Behind Too...

One perceptive reader pointed that shrub's NCLB is hurting the bright kids, the gifted and talented kids as much as it hurts the bottom slope of the bell curve kids. She's right. The teachers are under such pressure to bring everyone up to "standard"- a Herculean job if ever there was one. The bright kids, who get it the first or the second time sit through review lesson after review lesson till their eyes glaze over . I remember my own daughter lamenting "we can't learn anything new in math till Heather gets it and Heather never gets it". And Heather, bless her heart probably never did.

The Special Education kids have multiple laws on their side to ensure they get everything they need and then some. Our "Lifeskills Class" has a full time teacher and 3 full time aides . Class size - 3 children. We've one profoundly handicapped child on our campus who has a full time attendant (paid for by the school district). This person pushes the wheelchair, blends food, changes diapers, basically acts a full time caregiver. This kind of care does not come cheap - even at the barely above minimum wages our district pays to aides. I'm not saying we need to go back to the situation described in Karen, where Karen, who has cerebral palsy was denied access to a public education but there has to be a happy medium.

Our 1st & 2nd grade gifted kids get 2 hours of special services a week. Just two. I know, I provide it. We're making PowerPoint presentations and I'm not sure just who is teaching who PowerPoint.

Which group has the most time, resources and money allocated to them? Which group is likely to produce the next Bill Gates, the next Macarthur Fellowship winner or the next John Steinbeck? Something isn't right.

6 comments:

Angela said...

I have got to agree. Ohio has standardized testing as well, and did while I was still in school. I was considered one of the "bright kids" in everything besides math. I just do not get math, and because of the standards and tests I still do not get math and I honestly think my skills in other areas beyond what I could teach myself were stunted thanks to the students that didn't "get" history or english. It's a sad place when more school time is spent going over basic level tests then by actually teaching students anything.

Robin said...

You get a big AMEN from me too!

Janet said...

I just wrote a post about our big test coming up, the NJ Ask, the other day. I haven't posted it yet though, mainly bc I've been swamped...with preparing for the test.

Sunnye T said...

It's time someone disagreed with you, isn't it. Our schools out here in the hinterlands are reporting great results on all levels when they use the No Child Left Behind program.

Of course teachers and administrators who don't want to be held responsible for their work hate the program.

It's both the teachers' and the parents' responsibilities to be sure students "get" subjects.

Things are improving thanks to NCLB -- which was written, by the way, by Ted Kennedy.

Janet said...

sunnyewriter- I think it's extremely unfair to say that it is the teachers who don't want to be held responsible who hate such a program.

It's also extremely naive to say it is the teacher's job to make sure students "get" subjects. If you were ever in a classroom without the proper resources or assistance, you would realize that this is no easy feat. Now if you add factors such as the language barrier that many of our students have, you would realize that sometimes, even a 7 hour school day just isn't enough.

Pigs said...

It's hard to make all of the kids fit in a box. I worry about the high kids getting "dumbed down" by the test. I still believe the whole process should be based on the growth of individual schools and individual children. They should all be challenged starting from where the are to begin with. I should run for office. Except I hate politics.