Margaret Spellings, the Secretary of Education, and NCLB proponent went on The Colbert Report last night. Stephen, to his credit, asked about sanctions, but his follow-up was a bit lacking.
[this section updated to reflect the fact that prior to update it was a jumbled mess]Spellings said they shouldn't be called sanctions since what they do is help schools be accountable by giving them help! Schools are accountable to whom?-accountable to parents. Parents apparently are not accountable for the education of their children; teachers are. So, it would follow that: patients are not accountable; doctors are. Criminals are not accountable; lawyers are. Congress is not accountable; THE PEOPLE ARE!!!!!!!!
Accountability is something every citizen has. No-one is allowed to blame someone else if one has not taken action one's self to try to ameliorate the offending situation. If your kid ain't learnin', you try help the little fella. Maybe you need to do some learnin' in order to help, so, get on that. Don't expect someone else--a doctor, teacher, politician, lawyer--to fix your shit. Fix your own shit, then you can start to ask for assistance in fixing the shit that you cannot fix on your own. But please, don't expect anyone to fix your shit while you drink a beer.
Read my thoughts on a certain sanction: http://www.thefrustratedteacher.blogspot.com/2008/05/curriculum-of-sanction-lucy-calkins.html