We all knew it would be this way, but it still grates on my nerves when we see all the headlines regarding NCLB and how AYP is interpreted by the press - and hence the greater public. Educators could see it all coming down the pike. By requiring 100% proficiency of all students in every school in America by 2013/2014 we would eventually have every school in America failing to meet AYP. The steady drumbeat of negativity over years and years is certain to leave the American public with less confidence in our schools.
In a recent newspaper article it used the term "flunking" when it mentioned a school not meeting AYP.
Here is a headline from South Carolina:
S.C. schools fall by federal standards
Worst showing since No Child Left Behind passed
At least later on in the article the reporter explains why - but it's too late - the headline is what you remember.
The reason for the poor showing: the federal government moved test score targets for elementary and middle schools up by more than 50 percent
I like this quote from Alfie Kohn, a noted critic of the standardized tests used to determine AYP in most schools.
"If parents hear that the test scores have gone up in their kids’ school, their first response ought to be, ‘Oh no! What did they have to sacrifice from my child’s education in order to raise those scores?’”
Well, in the age of sound bites and talking heads on cable TV yelling at each other what can we expect. I don't see much public discourse anymore, mostly imagery, headlines and scrawls at the bottom of the screen.
Parents and patrons are mostly left with the emotional imprint of words like "failing, flunking and failure to meet..." without any real discourse about how those determinations were made and whether or not the procedures used to determine such things were even best for students in the long haul.