All Children Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind law has, according to many teachers and administrators I’ve talked to, directly impacted the type of education in public schools. For example, one school I’m familiar with used to have a staff person who coordinated a series of arts residencies, assemblies, and a creative, innovative program that encouraged kids to explore different, unfamiliar topics. This staff person now works ONLY on coordinating testing. No more arts residencies. Many many fewer arts related assemblies. No more creative, innovative exploration outside of the traditional classroom structure.

I was pleased to see that Minnesota is applying for a waiver for NCLB. At first I was REALLY excited — no more NCLB! Well, it’s not that great. It’s only because Congress can’t agree on reform of the law. Many schools run the risk of penalties or closure — many GOOD schools are in danger because of this crazy law that mandates test, test, test. Maybe these waivers will highlight some other, more effective tools for accountability so NCLB can finally go away!

I’d love to see the whole darn thing dismantled and let schools be more creative. Teachers spend hours teaching kids to succeed on tests.  Those hours could much better be used teaching kids to think. Can’t remember the last test I took in my daily life…..

More on Facebook

Another great blog postby Chris Wejr (@mrwejr) about why your school should be on Facebook. He also refers to a book for principals, Communicating & Connecting with Social Media, on managing social media.The arguments are compelling.

Go check out the Facebook presence for New Milford High School. The principal is Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) is honest about his transformation to embracing social media. Look closely at that Facebook presence. It doesn’t look that hard once you take a look, does it?

No, you won’t reach every parent or student using Facebook. But do you reach everyone using paper? email? Probably not.

I’m just one example, but I know I’d see communications from Facebook much more reliably and quickly than I’d see paper notes. I could be notified instantly if there were a crisis at school. I would appreciate a reminder about conferences and concerts. I’d love to hear about other things going on — with a child at a big high school, there’s a lot I don’t know.