No one questions that the education in the United States needs help, especially considering the US rankings according to Ranking America.
No Child Left Behind was a bill George W. Bush signed in 2002 to help boost the education system in the United States. It set federal standards for student achievements through testing. Schools and teachers were judged based on the test scores.
A search on Twitter, #NoChildLeftBehind, shows a major lack of support for a rewriting of this bill. According to the article House to vote on No Child Left Behind rewrite on NorthJersey.com by Jennifer C. Kerr, The renewal date was in 2007, but the argument for less federal regulations for school systems is still and ongoing debate.
Facebook has only a few comments that involve No Child Left Behind, making this social media not a great source for news on this subject.
Another search on Twitter, #AlternativeEducation, reveals this is a major topic with parents, educators, and even celebrities like Michael J. Fox who is quoted (on a meme) to say “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Facebook offers more information and news about Alternative Education, including the new Warrior Academy at the high school. This program offers high school students who have fallen behind the opportunity to recover and get back on track with their education. The program mixes eLearning with traditional paper and pencil lessons based on student needs.
Elizabeth Farrell was a pioneer in education in the early 1900’s. As a teacher in New York, she was one of the first educators to realize not every child learns the same way. She established the Council for Exceptional Children and set the standards for special education in America. One of her greatest achievements came with the idea to educate the educators of these special children.
What Farrell recognized over 100 years ago still holds true today. It has been suggested that our public educational system provides a cookie-cutter style of instruction. A standardized set of rules all teachers must adhere to, leaving little leeway for creative alternatives for the students who do not do well otherwise. This begs the question of how effective federal mandated standards can be for individual students. Is the answer to allow states to make these rules? What about funding, and who gets a say in how tax dollars are spent?
Please feel free to leave your comments and ideas. There is a solution out there!