Saturday, September 1, 2012

No Child Left Where? A Note from School

So we received a note from the high school saying that for the last five years, the school has failed to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) targets. Because of this the school is in "restructuring" meaning that they must provide parent "public school choice and supplemental educational services."

This from a school where the vast majority of kids go on to some kind of post-secondary education, often college?

The note also say that due to the "restructuring" they are required to take one of the following actions:
re-opening as a charter school, replacing all or most of the staff, entering into a contract with an "entity", being taken over by the state or implementing some other major restructuring of the school's governance.

What?

At first I dismissed the letter as a bureaucratic requirement. I've seen similar letters before from elementary schools. The high school in question has thriving athletic, arts and academic programs and I sure as hell hope they don't cut their STEM, AP and honors programs because of NCLB.

Serious issues aside (I'll save my questions for an upcoming Coffee with the Principal) it was this paragraph that I most wanted to share with you.

"The NCLB Act provides you, as a parent, the option to transfer your child to another public school within the district that is making AYP, with transportation provided by the district. However, at this time we do not have a school within the district to which your child can transfer. (emphasis theirs) We have contacted neighborhing districts to request that they provide us with a school(s) we can offer you as an option. No school district has agreed to do so this school year, nor have any of these schools made AYP and therefore cannot serve as options for transfer."

Sorry, but can you read that paragraph without concern that our education system is completely screwed up? I can't.

Ironically, I have quite a bit of faith that this public school will meet my son's academic needs (finally!), but I don't see how NCLB is affecting that, except in a potentially negative way.

Your thoughts?



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Kim MoldofskyKim Moldofsky
Kim is a blogger, vlogger, baker, and maker, as well as a trend spotter and founder of #STEMchat. She is passionate about raising STEM-loving kids. to your Google+ circles.

3 comments:

  1. My thoughts? NCLB is a poorly written law. AYP is often unreachable. Many times a school can fail to reach AYP if one subset (minority, disabilities) doesn't meet goals. Failure to achieve AYP is often meaningless.
    I've taught in schools that were borderline in the battle for AYP - not because the schools were not functioning, but because such a large number of students lived in risky homes, were homeless, or were transient such that they attended at least three different schools in one year.
    Look closely at your children's school. If it's working, don't transfer. Instead, get involved with the new team and make sure they maintain the programs that are important to your children.

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  2. To add to what Daisy said, another possibility is that your school started off high -- so there was really nowhere else to go! If the school is already doing really well, there is essentially no room for improvement. (This can be true of a subset - or the whole school.)

    Then - there is that bizarre wording about how all schools must strive to be above average - but of course that is statistically impossible. So schools that otherwise would be fine are thrown into danger territory.

    Go to the Board meetings to try to protect the programs that are meaningful to you. With luck, the team will be logical about not making major changes if what is happening is technically just fine!

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  3. I know OPRF is in the same position. How do we get this dumb law overturned?

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