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Red-StaterWisdoms explores the differences between the Red and Blue states on social, personal and political issues.

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Location: New York

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No Child Left Behind IS Funded

I'm sure some of my readers are thinking, "Why is Sallyann on this 'education kick'?"

Im on it becus meny parwrents r told by techers ther kids rite an spel lik this becus ther lerning disabled wen ther not. Im on it becus haf r kids kant reed n rite n spel good. Im on it becus most skool districks stil blaim parwrents 4 not preeparin ther kids 4 skool n knot beein nterested n ther kids skooling. Im on it becus blu statrs tink mor mone is the ansr n aqus george bush 4 knot fundin no child left behind. (This paragraph could have been written by a third-grader who was taught to read and write using the "whole language method" instead of traditional phonics. )

I will continue to write my comments in the "phonics mode"--the way I was taught to read and write when I was in third-grade. I'm sure you'll notice a big difference.

In the days ahead I'll be addressing the various issues surrounding the failing state of our public school system. I'm starting with the contentious battle between Red-Staters and Blue-Staters on whether or not No Child Left Behind has been funded.

Let me fling some opinion on the walls and see what sticks. Since the late 50's and early 60's the U.S. embarked on a cultural shift effecting the way we raise our children. Instead of "children are to been seen and not heard" we shifted to the more progressive "we'll do anything FOR THE CHILDREN" to make sure their lives were better off than ours. Parents went from "denying" children material goods and liberties to strengthen character and keep them hungry for a life on their own to an "almost never denying" parenting approach. Enter Benjamin Spock, the most trusted pediatrician and best selling author on rearing children for that time. Under Spock's progressive child rearing practices and theories, post-war parents eagerly adopted his methods and the FOR THE CHILDREN mentality took hold and continues to this day.

That culture shift alone increased public school funding ten-fold. When school districts said they needed new schools or anything, parents willingly provided tax dollars so as not to deny THE CHILDREN. Over the years, carpeting, computers, teaching labs, sports programs for both sexes, teacher's aides, higher wages for teachers, staffs of psychologists and counselors, administrative increases all have been purchased by the taxpayer to provide the best education FOR THE CHILDREN.

To me it's similar to the old adage--Money doesn't buy happiness--Money didn't come close to buying even an adequate education FOR THE CHILDREN. To the contrary, the more money we spent, the more academic standards declined and the more our kids failed.

George Bush understands the problem with our education system is not money. And I believe many Red-Staters feel the same way.

(For an indepth read about the funding status of NCLB, click on the headline that will take you to a FACT SHEET published by House Education & the Workforce Committee.)


Blogger Susanne said...

Let me start with where I agree with you. Schools should go back to teaching phonics... it's a successful proven method. Whole language is just the fad of the day that the overpaid leaders of the teachers union feel is the latest and greatest. Our students are not only failing at reading and writing... they fail globally when education is compared.
However, parents are to blame as well. It is a proven fact that children who are read to, go on to read better in school, and have a greater appreciation for reading. They score higher in math and science. When I was teaching many parents had the attitude that, "I wasn't offered these great educational opportunities... so my child doesn't need them either." WRONG ANSWER! "I don't have time to read to my child for 15 minutes a night." Really, is your life that busy? It's not that hard to expose your children to letters, colors, sounds, shapes... it's in our daily lives folks! "Oh, look at the red flower, and the blue one. Look your plate is a circle, can you find another circle?" How complicated is that and how hard is it to do? Expectations of teachers for kids entering kindergarten are incredibly low in my opinion. Again teaching to the lowest level students instead of to the higher.
As for the learning disabled, ADHD, ADD... I compare that to freshmen syndrome. So much new information is coming out that everyone is jumping on the ritalin bandwagon. It will mellow in time... it's that ever moving pendulum that has swung REALLY far to the left. But you can blame that on the big drug companies... not on the schools.
About child rearing taking a social shift. I hate to see the parents that give in to their screaming child in the grocery store. I hate to see "time-outs" used at nauseum. However, I don't agree with a child should be seen and not heard. Nor do I believe that you shouldn't want more for your children... WHY WOULDN'T YOU?
School districts need to be held accountable for how and where the funding dollars are going. I want my children to have computer labs, I want them to have a packed library, I want them to be in a clean safe school. Don't even get me going on sports -- that's a whole different can of worms there! There should be teachers aides... with the size of these classrooms it's no wonder the teachers need help. Psychologists and counselors are needed in our schools, because the world is a much uglier place than it was when you and I went to school. With the lack of interest from MANY (not all) parents... someone has got to be an advocate for those children.
Do you know of a place where we can see how our state fares according to the NCLB guidelines? If our state has met the requirements? I would be interested in seeing that.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susanne: Copy and paste this address in your internet address window. It'll take you to a site where you can research your state's "report card".


10:38 PM  
Blogger Grizally said...

Bush and you are correct on the fact that throwing more money at schools will not fix the problem.

As for what I can see, a combination of whole-language and phonetics works best, and it is not simply a concession.

I would like to point out, as well, that I am a poor speller myself, made so by computer spell check, and apathy.


3:00 PM  
Blogger sallyann said...


Could you expand your thoughts on phonics and whole language approaches?

6:38 PM  

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