The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 25, 2013

Leaving children behind

Within recent years, No Child Left Behind has become standard for American children, but it's proposed fixes to the educational system have left nothing but lowered standards, put higher focus on standardized test scores and more pressure on schools. This Act was supposed to provide an authentic American education to young adults with opportunities to succeed and strive in life.

What it has created is a system where it's easier to make the grade. Teachers babysit students instead of teach them. The youth aren't being pushed to full potential. AYP standards push schools to have the best standardized test scores proving they are effective but testing takes more time than it's worth.

While schools are teaching kids a broader subject matter, they are not teaching it in depth. There is no point in learning if it isn't usable.

Schools are pressured because they have to meet certain standards in order to maintain a status making the focus on scores, not knowledge. Standardized test questions are information memorized and spit out onto a paper with little effort. Students can slack in the classroom and don't have to know as much in-depth information as they should.

Student dropout rates put schools deeper in the hole so they lower standards to encourage graduation rates.

Education is a privilege and students can either take advantage of it and work hard or slack off and deal with the consequences. NCLB encourages laziness and the thought that if one passes a test they make the grade, but that isn't how life works and neither should school.

Students get chance after chance to turn in work with minimal penalties, even though colleges and jobs offer one chance to get it right, and parents aren't going to call every night with a homework reminder.

Rachel L. Reaser

Mifflinburg High School

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