We are not calling for an end to ESEA and to suggest otherwise is to engage in a lie. We want all of NCLB's provisions undone and a return to ESEA pre NCLB.
Since NCLB only added accountability measures, the Education Roundtable wants to go back to those halcyon days when the feds' role was to "slop the hogs" with money and educators would feed hungrily at the trough without anyone looking over their shoulder. That kids and taxpayers were the only special interests that weren't benefiting from such a system does not seem to bother the Education Roundtable.
Let's hit some of the more unintentionally hilarious points made in the petition. According to the Roundtable, NCLB needs to go because:
8. Reflects and perpetuates massive distrust of the skill and professionalism of educators.
I'm speechless. Let's say I go take my driver's test and fail the exam. Would other drivers have reason to distrust my driving skills?
12. Applies standards to discrete subjects rather than to larger goals such as insightful children, vibrant communities, and a healthy democracy.
Now those are standards that I'd like to see--state standards for evaluating when children are insightful, when communities are vibrant, and democracies are healthy. Hopefully, schools will teach to the test and devote the morning to teaching insightfulness and the afternoons to teaching vibrancy. Hopefully, they'll do a better job teaching these subjects than they did teaching math and reading.
10. Emphasizes minimum content standards rather than maximum development of human potential.
11. Neglects the teaching of higher order thinking skills which cannot be evaluated by machines.
Have you ever seen a person with higher order thinking skills who couldn't answer basic skills-type questions? No? Me neither. If anything, NCLB has shown that schools aren't doing a very good job imparting basic skills, let alone those elusive higher order thinking skills. Let's stick to baby steps.
5. Ignores the proven inadequacies, inefficiencies, and problems associated with centralized, "top-down" control.
Isn't that the existing problem? Public schools have always been run in a centralized, "top-down" manner.
1. Misdiagnoses the causes of poor educational development, blaming teachers and students for problems over which they have no control.
It may not be true that those that can't do, teach. But what is becoming increasingly obvious is that those that can't teach want to shift blame.
Funny Update One: The Rountablers are attacking in the comments and showing us that non sequiturs, logical fallacies, and blind adherence to ideology don't make for compelling arguments. You're being ridiculed in the edusphere and your saner liberal allies have hung you out to dry. Time to reevaluate your position. First rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging. They do seem itching for a fight. Maybe Edspresso will host one of their week-long debates. You listening, Ryan?
Update Two: Once again I've profitted from heeding the advice of America's greatest president, Calvin Coolidge, who once said “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” In this case my inestimable band of frequent commenters have fought back the swarm of tinfoil-hat-wearing roundtablers much better than I could have.