No Child Left Behind Speeches
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No Computer Left On - The New Digital Divide
NCLB has created a national sense of urgency about basic skills that threatens to undermine recent efforts to identify and implement significant uses of new technologies to strengthen student learning. McKenzie explores the signs of this disturbing new development as schools switch from one bandwagon to the next (LITERACY) without finishing the first. Throughout the land, and especially in districts with disadvantaged students and low scores, attention is so riveted on basic skills, that many computers sit idly glowing through the day. McKenzie offers strategies to use new technologies to strengthen student performance and score well enough to avoid the worst NCLB perils.
NCLB - Bad Law and Risky Policy
NCLB has set in motion drastic changes in the way students will learn and schools will be funded. McKenzie argues that this law and its regulations will dismantle public education, spread funds thinly across previously unpublic schools and create havoc for schools, children and families. He offers 17 reasons why NCLB should be repealed or significantly amended.
Surviving NCLB and Protecting Students
NCLB presents public school systems with complicated challenges, as purveyors of corporate style, free market learning products will be knocking on school doors pretending to be public schools. The rules advanced by the Department of Education are written in ways to deconstruct public education, but astute leaders can create strategies to frustrate and block the deconstruction and market penetration. McKenzie identifies a dozen NCLB Trojan horses and suggests ways to "keep them from the city."
NCLB - The Medical Science Myth
NCLB has promoted the ill-founded notion that education would work better if educators would simply conduct scientific research as reliable as that done by medicine. McKenzie describes huge failings of medical research to create the clear answers claimed by proponents of this strategy, ranging from false claims for hormonal treatment of women to claims for cancer treatments. He goes on to celebrate the very human dimensions of learning that bring pure science to its needs when trying to reduce schooling to simple recipes and factory style strategies. McKenzie suggests that this element of NCLB is more myth than reality and predicts an onslaught of vendor sponsored pseudoscientific studies and evidence. He argues that the art of teaching does more for student learning than the so-called science of learning.
NCLB - The Choice Myth
NCLB creates rapid school failure, encourages school abandonment and offers CHOICE as a silver bullet to help poorly performing student turn around their performance. McKenzie outlines how the rules of NCLB rush the CHOICE process and unleash a helter-skelter movement of children that is likely to harm rather than help students. Despite a complete lack of scientific evidence to support the educational benefits of transience and nomadic learning, NCLB is promoting the radical and untested approach to school reform. McKenzie illustrates the damage and havoc likely to result by sharing actual case studies from the early NCLB efforts.
NCLB - Narrow, Undemocratic Curriculum
NCLB creates pressure on states to limit testing to math and reading to avoid the heavy blade of school failure built into the rules and regs. Some states have backed off testing of social studies and science to limit the number of failing schools. McKenzie explains how such a curriculum is undemocratic and unhealthy, especially since this focus is more likely to impact disadvantaged students than advantaged students.
NCLB - Children are NOT Hamburgers and Schools are NOT Factories
NCLB seeks to introduce change strategies from the corporate world of manufacturing that are unlikely to work in educational settings. McKenzie outlines ways that NCLB nurtures the growth of fast food learning emporiums and factory style, conveyor built learning that will serve neither the students nor the nation well in coming decades. He contrasts this brave new corporate learning world with the rich learning developed by educators over past decades and suggests a national reform approach that respects, honors and extends the best practices of educators.