Monday, August 27, 2007

NCLB & GT

We in education seem to be addicted to acronyms. NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is probably one of the best known, however.

Several years ago, when NCLB was just getting started, Carol Ann Tomlinson spoke extensively about the damage it would do to our gifted students(GT = gifted and talented). Faced with having to make all students meet benchmarks, teachers would not be able to focus any real attention on students who were likely to pass tests without our support.

I believe, and it seems I'm not alone, that she was correct in her prediction. In some ways, this seems like a no-brainer. Of course schools will focus on students who might not pass the test. We will be judged harshly based on those scores. If students are likely to pass, with or without us, they can go ahead and do so.

As a result, those students who naturally do well in school or who have lots of family support for their education or who simply test well are likely to be allowed to float along without being challenged academically. It seems to me that all that NCLB has done is change which children are left behind.

2 comments:

organized chaos said...

I'm really interested to hear that from you. It makes perfect sense, but I was hoping you'd be finding it wasn't the case. Even if we are trying to challenge our GT kids under NCLB, teaching to the test isn't going to give them the enrichment they need.

I think another set of kids NCLB leaves out are the non-sub category kids. I find it kind of ridiculous that one of our school's largest populations only gets counted once since they are not a 'big five' population across the state. If we were really score-oriented we could practically ignore this one large population and aim our teaching to the other populations whose scores count twice. I'd love to get the NAACP looking into the racial profilings of NCLB.

Herdingcats said...

I've noticed that GT programs are almost completely gone. Unfortunately, GT parents just go to private schools or pay for outside enrichment. They don't sue to get their rights like the special ed parents did. GT doesn't bankrupt families, special ed did. Those parents just don't scream loud enough