GOOD

Children Soon Left Behind

In GOOD issue 12, education expert and Huffington Post-blogger Gary Stager penned an essay about a system held hostage by No Child Left Behind. He derides the program as a "a mathematically impossible piece of federal education legislation, which requires all of the nation's schoolchildren to be above..\n

In GOOD issue 12, education expert and Huffington Post-blogger Gary Stager penned an essay about a system held hostage by No Child Left Behind. He derides the program as a "a mathematically impossible piece of federal education legislation, which requires all of the nation's schoolchildren to be above the mean on standardized tests by 2014."


Looks like the fuzzy math behind NCLB is threatening to leave some kids (along with their schools) behind. Yesterday, The New York Times reported about a school in Sacramento, Calif., that for the first time failed to meet the requirements set by the 2002 law. Apparently the same thing happened to hundreds of other schools in the state-and many more nationwide.

What's behind this widespread failure? NCLB requires that states get all their students proficient at reading and math by 2014-that means states like California had to get 85 percent of their schoolchildren up to snuff. Apparently state officials had decided to start slow, bringing scores up a couple of percentage points per year and then getting more ambitious. (They hoped that the 2007 Congress would relax the standards. That didn't happen.) Now, California schools are on the hook for raising proficiency by 11 percent every year-definitely not an easy task.

If the first-time failures disappoint again, they could get federal sanctions-a scenario that some have likened to balloon payments that result in home foreclosures. Sanctions aren't going to help the children in each school. So these states' attempts to game NCLB are akin to predatory lending; and our schools are like the homebuyers?

And while Joe Six Pack American suffered at the hands of the housing crisis, schoolchildren will ultimately pay the price in this fiasco? Sounds like a broken system to us.

Articles

A two-minute television ad from New Zealand is a gut punch to dog lovers who smoke cigarettes. "Quit for Your Pets" focuses on how second-hand smoke doesn't just affect other humans, but our pets as well.

According to Quitline New Zealand, "when you smoke around your pets, they're twice as likely to get cancer."

Keep Reading
Health
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
Politics
via United for Respect / Twitter

Walmart workers issued a "wake up call" to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer's $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton's penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.

The protest was partially a response to the company's so-called "Great Workplace" restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.

Keep Reading
Communities