As long as corporations dictate the testing and assessment requirements, grading teachers based on test scores, and fund schools based on those test scores, THERE WILL BE NO CHOICE. All the schools are held to the same BS, so how will you find a school with "alternative" settings? You have choice now...you can go private.And in most districts, you can reassign, choose a magnet, or choose your teacher. PRIOR to NCLB public schools were about teaching the whole child, having a multitude of choices within the school, places of innovation...that's what schools looked like BEFORE NCLB and FCAT here in Florida. No one, NOT ONE PARENT, ever clamored for assessments because we gave them REPORT CARDS, and had WEEKLY TESTS, and ASSESSED kids meaningfully. Many of you speak as if none of this was happening before. Did any of you attend public schools growing up? Did your parents ever wonder or ask for standardized tests or not trust your teacher or look at your report cards? Did you just float through willy nilly?
This whole mess was just a drummed up battle cry to freak out the public as most people were very happy with their NEIGHBORHOOD public schools. The schools doing poorly then are the same ones now...they are in impoverished areas and we don't, as a nation, want to address that so we criminalize every school, teacher, union, etc. Believe me, education and teaching was joyous prior to this. Teachers are still trying but this atmosphere of testing, testing, testing, and "teachers are evil" make it difficult to even want to get up in the morning. So we take more money out, raise class sizes, narrow the curriculum, fail MORE kids, more kids are dropping out than before NCLB, and then the public believes what the corporate and libertarian idiots have always wanted them to believe--we need to close public schools. Congratulations...you have bought into the propaganda. Read The Shock Doctrine... Rosemarie Jensen