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No State Left Behind


From: Judy Grochowski (jgrochowski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Mar 03 2003 - 22:53:23 PST

Hi all,
    I hope I will not offend anyone when I forward this-(apologies for this ahead of time-as always, please hit the delete key if you feel it's out of place). I rather like the concepts expressed here and feel it may be a good tool for us as teachers facing this stuff. Especially in our area, which is seen by so many as dispensible when budgets get tight. That's my motivation for forwarding it. I did try to find out who the author is, with no luck, so if you forward it, just credit 'anon'

> No State Left Behind
> Year after year, we pour money into our government, elect officials, and
> yet society is still struggling; crime is still rampant; the economy is
> abysmal, to say the least. What we need is accountability. The solution is
> simple. Standards that each and everyone in a state must attain. I believe
> that passage of the No State Left Behind bill will guarantee that all
> people receive the best possible government. We are a country of
> diversity; this bill will apply equally to all citizens (we are, however,
> looking for loopholes for the wealthy; rules don't typically apply to them
> anyway). Under the No State Left Behind (lovingly shortened to NSLB), all
> states will have to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress by the end of the
> current legislative term or face dire consequences.
> Components of the bill are numerous, but may be synthesized as follows:
> * All individuals will make significant social and economic progress
> toward minimum salary standards. There will be no exceptions or excuses:
> prisoners, migrant workers, homeless, gang-members, non-English speaking
> persons all will have to achieve the minimum standards. If states do not
> develop programs to guarantee that each state resident achieves the
> minimum salary standard, the individual state government will be placed on
> a list of Deficient States. The state will then have two years to raise
> the salary levels of all of their citizens or the next higher government
> agency will step in and take over the government. In extreme cases, the
> State may be shut down and all residents of the state sent to neighboring
> successful states.
> * Furthermore, testing of all citizens will be done on a yearly basis.
> Testing will be in areas of health, safety, economic security, and
> standard of living. All citizens will be judged on a high standard set by
> the wealthy businessmen and all governments not achieving this standard
> for each and every person will be deemed a failure. Once a state has been
> deemed as inadequate, all flyers, publications and web sites produced by
> that state must bear the words "Deficient State." Citizens who choose to
> leave the deficient state may be reimbursed for moving expenses to a state
> that has met the standards. If, surprisingly, a High-Achieving State
> cannot be found, the citizen may then request transportation to a
> neighboring country, preferably one with a little sanity remaining.
> * All citizens will have the right to be represented by a highly
> qualified politician who has met all the requirements for this
> certification, including obtaining a Master's Degree from a private
> institution (points will be lost for public school degrees), and passing a
> basic competency test in the areas of National Defense, Homeland Security,
> Domestic Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Personnel Affairs, Economic Issues,
> Educational Issues, Cultural Diversity, Transportation and Race Relations
> (to name a few). Politicians who do not receive the status of a Highly
> Qualified Politician will have one year in which to achieve this status
> before being removed from office.
> * In keeping with the high standards, all staffers working with the
> politicians will have a four-year degree, obtained at their own expense.
> Pay will not be commensurate with education.
> * If any state refuses to take part in the No State Left Behind
> program, funding for that state will be taken away and will be sent to a
> neighboring state.
> *
> * The federal government will fully fund (at a fraction of the total
> cost, of course) all costs of this program. States who, in this time of
> budget deficits, cut their own contributions to education and subsidize
> this cut with federal No State Left Behind money, will be looked upon with
> disdain. That clearly is not the intent of this law. Shame!
> This is ridiculous, you may say. What chaos! How much money will be
> wasted on record keeping? What about those people who cannot make the
> minimum wage no matter what? Will punishing a state make that state
> better?
> Send a copy of this to your legislators and they will say, "You cannot
> hold us accountable for the ills of society. You cannot judge us or
> punish the state if each citizen cannot earn a minimum salary level."
> There are other factors involved societal factors, motivational factors,
> ability factors you cannot judge us based on a result over which we do not
> have total control.
> Far fetched? For states, yes; but unfortunately, this is what is being
> thrust upon public schools. I, admittedly, am not proposing a serious
> bill; however, if any part of the above sounded ridiculous to you, please
> know that this is exactly what the No Child Left Behind bill is requiring
> of schools. I do believe in high standards; I do believe in giving each
> and every child the best education possible. I believe that this law is
> not only rigid and punitive, but that it discounts factors that we know
> play a major role in academic achievement and holds schools accountable
> for factors that they cannot control.