Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"A new world of wise investments and high expectations"

Quote from Rod Paige. Yeah, right.

By way of Buzzflash, I find this Michigan's columnist take on how NCLB has left the kids behind.
In a letter to one community newspaper, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige boasted that students may walk into the same school this fall, but they will enter a "new world" of wise investments and high expectations.

For many, it'll be a new world, all right. But not the one the Bush administration would like you to believe exists.

Consider the results from a statewide survey of hundreds of school districts conducted by the K-16 Coalition, a group of K-12 and higher education organizations in Michigan. Struggling to cope with funding cuts, the coalition found:

52 percent of districts surveyed expect larger class sizes.

50 percent expect to delay buying new textbooks.

30 percent plan to increase student fees for extracurricular activities.

83 percent have cut supply budgets.

21 percent will cut the number of school days.
Media reports describe schools that charge elementary students to play sports and others that ask parents to provide standard school supplies.
Can't quibble with evidence like this. And more...
The fiscal year 2005 budget shortchanges America's students and schools by $9.4 billion. In Michigan, the shortfall is more than $237 million.

Title I funds -- money that pays for programs for our neediest children -- have actually been cut. Nearly 400 Michigan school districts expect to receive fewer Title 1 funds in the 2004-05 school year than they did in 2003-04, according to federal data.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration continues its push for standardized tests. Tests that do not measure real success, with results we cannot use, at a price we cannot afford, especially in tight budget times.
No doubt NCLB certainly is turning public education into a 'new world'.