No Child Left Behind should be scrapped

Posted: Sep. 22, 2011 9:31 am Updated: Oct. 15, 2014 10:15 am


To The Herald-Whig:

It should surprise no one that QHS is having trouble meeting the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

The goal of NCLB, as stated in the text of the law found at, is "... all students ... will meet or exceed the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments. ..."

Any sixth-grader can identify one or two kids in their class who are "geniuses" and a few who are not so bright. Sixth-graders understand the harsh reality that some of their peers are really smart, and some are not. That some of their peers could make it through medical or law school, and some will be lucky to graduate high school. Even without the complications of broken homes, poverty, etc., we are all born with some innate level of mental ability. We may be equal before the law, but we are not all the same.

Congress was arrogant enough to believe that simply by passing a law, they could alter this reality. They ignored what every sixth-grader knows and decreed that all students must pass a test by the end of the 2013-14 school year. A sharp sixth-grader could have told Congress that there are only two possible outcomes of NCLB. Either tests standards must be low enough that the not-so-bright can score proficient, or, more reasonable testing standards will guarantee failure of all schools because their not-so-bright won't be able to pass.

A friend has a child who reads three grades above grade level. The child's teacher graduated from teacher's college a few years ago. When my friend asked the teacher if she could find some material to challenge her child, the teacher told her that in college, they were taught how to help the underachievers, but not the overachievers. Today's teachers are learning how to teach to the lowest, at the expense of the brightest. Sort of like putting all the fertilizer on the gravel driveway and expecting it to grow as good a crop as the field next to it.

NCLB was designed to fail by a bunch of lawyers who chose to ignore sixth-grade common sense. It has pushed American education strongly toward mediocrity while costing billions. Now is a good time to write to our legislators and ask them to scrap NCLB and return control to teachers. If you do, please, keep it at sixth-grade level.


Craig Mackrides



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