Washington State’s Resistance to “No Child Left Behind” Is a Teachable Moment (If Not a Testable One)

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat better watch his tongue, or he soon may find himself writing at some foul-mouthed blog:

Dear Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education:

Hello from the other Washington! I’m writing to say that you can take your No Child Left Behind law and shove it.

I’d add “up your ass,” but that’s just me. Other than that, I completely agree with everything Westneat has to say about No Child Left Behind’s failed testing regime, and the political stupidity of picking a fight over it with Washington State:

I’ll close by saying I think you’re messing with the wrong state. You should try to change this “fundamentally flawed” law, rather than impose it on us out of pique. A prediction: We like to do our own thing out here anyway, and your action will only fuel more boycotts of these tests, as well as suspicion of the entire education-reform industry.

When those letters go out informing parents at every public school in the state that their school is a failure, parents, teachers, and administrators should mock these letters with celebratory dunce caps and All Children Left Behind parties. Perhaps schools should even take a day off from mandated testing to teach students important lessons of civil disobedience in American history, like the pre-Revolutionary War non-importation agreements and the various peaceful protests and boycotts of the civil rights movement.

This is a teachable moment, if not a testable one. Which is exactly the point.

Washington State will be better off resisting the feds on No Child Left Behind, and the rest of the nation would do well to our lead.

Comments

  1. 1

    correctnotright spews:

    Agreed Goldy – this “education reform” crap is stifling students and teachers. Instead of wasting money on useless testing and insulting letters – we should be encouraging innovation. Singapore has some of the highest scoring students in the world (on standardized tests)- but their students in grad school STINK because they cannot THINK and reason.
    The whole top down, education reform racket is a waste of time and money. It is just a moneymaking industry for the testers – it is not about real education and learning.

  2. 2

    spews:

    Your homegirl (and mine) Julie Mains has been keeping me updated on what a crock of shit these alleged reforms are doing to our educational system. Makes me glad that I don’t have kids.