Drug testing

Parents Demand Dumbed-down Tests:An Unintended Bad Consequence of the No Child Left Behind Act

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is making the problem of cheating, low academic standards, and public schools lying to parents, even worse. Under this Act, the Department of Education now requires students to pass standardized tests. Failing schools will lose federal funding and other perks if their students consistently turn in a bad performance on these tests.

Holding schools and teachers accountable, and expecting students to demonstrate what they've learned, sounds like a good idea. But this Act means that badly-taught students, victims of dumbed-down texts and bad teaching methods like new math and whole-language instruction, now have to pass difficult standardized tests they are not ready for.

As a result, millions of students may fail these tests, not because they are dumb, but because the schools never taught them to read properly or solve a math problem without a calculator. Millions of high school students with low reading and math skills now risk not graduating from high school until they pass these tests.

It is important that parents know the unvarnished truth about their children's real academic abilities, but many parents are now frantic because they see their children's failing grades on these new tests. As a result, they complain to school boards that they do not want their children taking these tests or not graduating from high school because of low test scores. To protect their children, many parents are now demanding dumbed-down tests to make sure that their kids graduate from high school and go to college.

The No Child Left Behind Act is now forcing many parents to condone schools that dumb-down their tests and standards, instead of blaming these schools for their children's failure to learn. This is a typical unintended consequence of more government laws that try to fix problems that a government-controlled school system created in the first place.

State lawmakers in New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and other states have yielded to parent pressure. They have scrapped or watered-down high-stakes graduation tests that proved too tough even for students in the so-called better schools in the suburbs.

In Wisconsin, state legislators backed off plans to require high school graduation tests because of strong opposition by parents from affluent suburbs. One parent group calling itself "Advocates for Education" argued that high-stakes testing would not be fair to children and would hurt educational quality in the schools.

Critics of the graduation tests were worried that the tests would put too much pressure on the children. Suburban parents lobbied parent-teacher organizations, and state legislators eventually scrapped the graduation test before a single high-school student had taken it.

Similarly, New York and Massachusetts officials yielded to pressure by parents to set low passing grades for their new graduation tests. In Virginia and Arizona, state boards of education have backed away from graduation tests that were too tough for even the so-called better schools. Only 7 percent of schools in Virginia met new achievement standards, and 9 out of 10 sophomores in Arizona schools failed a new math test.

In New York City, school authorities estimated that over 30 percent of the city's 11th-graders would not be eligible to graduate if the English language standard that will take effect next year was being applied today. Diane Ravitch of the Brookings Institute in Washington is a longtime analyst of New York's public-school system She estimated that in some neighborhoods, less than 5 percent of high-school seniors would qualify to graduate under the new standards.

Parents, particularly those with younger children, should take heed. You don't want to end up with high-school kids who may not graduate because they can't pass the new tests. In Chapters 8, 9, and the Resource section of "Public Schools, Public Menace," I explore how you can circumvent these serious problems by finding real education alternatives outside the public schools.

Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst, and author of "Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children."

Contact Information:
Website: http://www.mykidsdeservebetter.com,
Email: lbooksusa@aol.com,
Phone: 718-447-7348.

Article Copyrighted ? 2005 by Joel Turtel

NOTE: You may post this Article on another website only if you set up a hyperlink to Joel Turtel's email address and website URL, http://www.mykidsdeservebetter.com

In The News:

Last week, marine experts at Seaside Aquarium fielded a call about a bizarre sea creature found buried in the sand at a beach in Long Beach, Washington.
Two Bronze Age women — one likely a teenage priestess — probably didn't travel far and wide across Europe, as previous research suggested, but instead were real homebodies who likely never left what is now modern-day Denmark, a new study finds.
It's the moment warm weather fans have been waiting for: the first day of spring has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dinosaurs and alligators may both be reptiles, but the similarities were thought to be few and far between. Dinosaurs are commonly thought to have been warm-blooded, while alligators are cold-blooded, meaning they can not regulate their own body temperatures. Now, a new study suggests that both dinosaurs and animals have more in common than previously thought – their ability to hear.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while selling her "Green New Deal", said that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done to address climate change.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton repeated a long-held conspiracy theory during a visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston last week.  
For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.
An astronomer at Columbia University has a new guess about how hypothetical alien civilizations might be invisibly navigating our galaxy: Firing lasers at binary black holes (twin black holes that orbit each other).
Skygazers are set for a treat this week when the third and final supermoon of the year occurs.
Four human herpes viruses have been found to reactivate in astronauts on Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to new research by NASA.

How Often Does Child Sexual Abuse Get Reported?

Not nearly as often as it should. Most child abuse... Read More

Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?

Q. I don't like my children spending so much time... Read More

Child ADHD - Deciding Where to Draw the Line

The wonderful adaptability of children in dealing with the challenges... Read More

Children are People, Not Machines

When growing up, my father frequently reminded me to "pay... Read More

How Can I Teach My Child Respect?

A common theme over the past 20 years has been... Read More

ADHD: A Dialogue With a Non-Believer, part two

Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More

Building Your Childs Self-Esteem

According to researchers, most children enter school with a good... Read More

Some Thoughts on Counseling Goals for ADHD

What should the goals for counseling be when the patient... Read More

Children - Blessing or Curse

You're trying to catch up on some sleep on a... Read More

Baptisms And Alternative Ways To Hold A Naming Ceremony

Traditionally, babies have been named at a christening/baptism.... Read More

How To Teach Your Children Social Skills

As our children grow, they will be going to schools... Read More

Unique Baby Names

What's in a name? Er?well, everything, really! Of course your... Read More

True Romance for Couples with Kids: 10 Inexpensive Ideas

Anyone can splurge on a formal dinner or a pricey... Read More

Teach Your Children About the Importance of Water

The Flow of WaterWater is essential for life on the... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Ask Questions

Many parents seem to be more than a little confused... Read More

You Goofed? Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Certainly we all want our children to excel. But it... Read More

You Dont Need a Supernanny to Be an Active Parent

The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been... Read More

Ritalin (Methylphenidate) in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Ritalin is a good medication with a bad reputation. Its... Read More

The Great Baby Name Debate

Winifred or Willow? Thomas or Troy? The name you choose... Read More

How To Live With Your Teenagers Untidy Room

'Whose room is it anyway?'If you have a teenager, you're... Read More

What About Competition? Are Your Kids Ready?

Life is full of competition -- even in childhood. Kids... Read More

Some Tips for Healthy Parenting

Looking back through my files I've come across several great... Read More

Hurting from the Outside - In: The Rise of Self-harming

Ask any teacher or adolescent counselor what the most disturbing... Read More

The Ten Most Common Poisons Among Kids

For parents, keeping our kids safe is a constant top... Read More

The Benefits of Music Education

Despite serious reductions in funding for arts programs in... Read More

garage lights street light music Pete's produce ..