Diane\'s Blog

Stanley D. Whelchel

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I read with great interest your article The State Of Public Education Today in the ISEA Communique, Oct. / Nov., 2010 – Vol. 47, No. 2. You summarized all of the problems in NCLB very well. NCLB has been a disaster for public education since its inception. If legislators, and school administrators want to see standardized test results improve then they have to put the pressure right directly where it belongs — on the shoulders of the students and their parents. When students, especially high school students do not see a benefit in taking a test for them, then the majority of them will not give the test their best effort. Many of them make little diagrams and finish a 40 minute test in about 5 minutes. I have observed this many times over my 35 year career teaching biology and anatomy in the Waterloo, Iowa Community Schools. If a method could be devised whereby the tests in science, mathematics, English, and social studies would become part of the individual student’s grade in each of the subject areas, I believe that the students would settle down and give it their best effort because now there is something in it for them; it is part of their grade report and is entered into their permanent files. As I mentioned earlier, I taught for 35 years and was the Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year for the State of Iowa in 1976 and also received several outstanding teaching awards in the area of conservation so I am and have been interested in the effects of NCLB even though it was no longer affecting me directly. Thank you for a great article.

Sincerely,
Stanley D. Whelchel