Leave This Child Behind

New York Post, August 17, 2008.


When it comes to thinking about our schools, politicians and educators recoil from a truth that the rest of us learned in first grade when we read “Dick and Jane.” That terrifying truth? Some kids just weren’t very good at reading and math. In fact, some kids were pretty bad, and nothing the teacher did made them better. As our school years progressed, it became clear to us that some of the kids (maybe including ourselves) did okay at reading and math, but it wasn’t their strong point, and they were more interested in other things. Add up the kids without the ability and the kids with the ability but without the interest, and we’re talking about a majority of young people.

This is all pretty obvious to first graders and fifth graders and high school students. But not to politicians and educators. They are the people who gave us the No Child Left Behind Act, which wrote into law that all children – all – be proficient in reading and math by the year 2014, using standards of “proficient” that a substantial number of children do not have the intellectual ability to attain.

New York Post