Thursday, October 19, 2006

President calls for expansion of No Child Left Behind

President Bush doesn't learn from his mistakes, and in this instance, I am not talking about Iraq.
The president is calling for an expansion of one of the most ill-conceived laws this nation has ever seen- No Child Left Behind- and surprise, surprise, he wants this expansion to include vouchers to allow students to attend private schools:

Bush's interview with ABC came as he visited North Carolina to highlight his education program. The president visited a fast-improving elementary school to make a pitch for expansion of the No Child Left Behind law when it comes before Congress for reauthorization next year.

Bush said the law should include vouchers for low-income students to attend private or parochial schools while offering salary incentives for teachers whose students show sharp improvement on standardized tests or who work in tough schools. He also wants the law's requirements for annual standardized testing, which currently apply to most elementary and middle school students, extended to high schools.

"The reauthorization of this important bill is going to be a top priority of mine," Bush said. "And it's not only just the reauthorization, it's the strengthening of the bill and not the weakening of the bill."

It is amazing how supporters of educational vouchers are the people who demand all sorts of mind-numbing paperwork for public schools to show compliance with different aspects of federal regulations, but want to open the floodgate of federal dollars to private schools without requiring any documentation whatsoever.
Private schools are also able to conduct their business without public supervision, unlike public schools. Private schools are permitted to conduct board meetings behind closed doors, even in those venues where educational vouchers are in place and public money is being spent.
And, of course, private schools do not have to follow the same guidelines when it comes to curriculum and course offerings that public schools are required to follow.
I might add that most private schools are not equipped to handle the same wide range of students that are enrolled in public schools, students ranging from the most gifted to those who have severe mental and emotional problems.
And now, the president is also calling for No Child Left Behind to be expanded to the high school level. This is a case of a lame duck president closing his eyes and ears to reality.

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