On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind into Law.
NCLB, as it was known, is the worst federal education legislation ever passed by Congress. It was punitive, harsh, stupid, ignorant about pedagogy and motivation, and ultimately a dismal failure. Those who still admire NCLB either helped write it, or were paid to like it, or were profiting from it.
It was Bush’s signature issue. He said it would end “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” It didn’t.
When he campaigned for the presidency, he and his surrogates claimed there had been a “Texas miracle.” There wasn’t.
All that was needed, they said, was to test every child in grades 3-8 every year in reading and math. Make the results for schools public. Reward schools that raised scores. Punish schools for lower scores. Then watch as test scores soar, graduation rates rise, and achievement gaps…
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