NCLB Smackdown! Ouch!

I don't know how I got there, but I ended up at cleveland.com reading some reactions to a pseudo-letter published in the Clevelnad Plain Dealer. It is an apology from a principal to his constituents (yeah, the parents, students and teachers) for having to shortchange everyone in favor of testing. I guess it's a little over-the-top, but it makes the point rather well.

Anyway, at the site I ended up at, cleveland.com, the general feeling among the commenters was that the principal is a wimp, shamed the district, and should just shut the fuck up. Commenters go on and on about how schools and teachers are paid for with tax dollars, so the public should get more for their money, blah, blah, blah. This is the "Government School" crowd who can't wait to privatize education. I guess they don't realize privatizing it won't help, but whatever.

Now to the point of this post. One commenter decided to put into words something I have tried to say many times. I have seen versions of this in the past, but this comment is solid.

To all who have commented:

It seems evident from the majority who have responded that accountability of taxpayers' dollars is of paramount importance. I too don't want my taxes wasted, so let's improvise a bit. Education deals with the human condition as opposed to industries based on the production or servicing of inanimate objects. Perhaps we could curtail tax waste by uplifting the "No Child Left Behind" education law as a model for tax dollar accountability in other societal based endeavors receiving federal money of any sort. (Please remember, NCLB call for 100% student proficiency by 2014)

Given a 10 year deadline, police will eliminate 100 percent of all crime in local communities. Officers and administrators will face termination if significant progress isn't made over three-year intervals during the decade.

Given a 10 year deadline, established organizations whose purpose is to counter drug abuse will eliminate substance abuse with 100 percent efficiency within their jurisdiciton. Agents of such organizations (counselors, DEA personnel, law enforcement officials) will be terminated if significant reduction in drug abuse is registered over three year intervals during the decade.

Given a 10 year deadline, all medical practitioners and hospitals who accept Medicare payments will achieve a 100 percent recovery rate of their patients or be denied all future Medicare patients. (Practitioners deemed ineffective by the 100 percent criterion in publicly funded hospitals will be terminated.)

Given a 10 year deadline, all universities receiving federal funding (or accepting students with outstanding federal education loans) will achieve a 100 percent graduation rate. If the graduation rate does not make significant improvement over three-year intervals, identified professors from ineffective departments will be terminated.

In each of the preceding examples progress rates will be published on a regular basis in local newspapers keeping the public abreast on whose doing the best job with the public's (federal) money.

I am sure we can agree that "data-driven" proficiency/efficiency plans are the way to go to get maximum mileage from our tax dollars. They provide simple answers for very complex issues.

Yeah! If we are going to hold teachers accountable, after all, they are paid with public money, we should hold all the public employees accountable! So let's pay that rude DMV representative more money if she can plow through more vehicle registrations than her coworkers! Who cares about fairness when we can have accountability!!!!

Let's not forget Jay P Greene! He has a line by line takedown of the letter by the principal. He is just so horrible!

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