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TNLI: Survey: No Child Left Behind: What People are Saying

"As a school superintendent, I understand the symbolic power of high aspirations. I am responsible for inspiring those engaged in the difficult work of improving public education. Yet, I am also keenly aware of the danger of asking educators to achieve impossible, nebulous goals. While initially inspiring, they eventually become debilitating.  This is where I am with NCLB. Rather than supporting my efforts to improve student achievement, the law’s dependence on punishment and unreasonable mandates are among my largest obstacles."
Carl Cohn, Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District

"Teachers have always been concerned about accountability and authentic assessment but the survey shows that this law really misses the mark on exactly what it is supposed to be targeting-and the unintended consequence is more teachers are leaving because of the law."
William J. Cirone
, Superintendent of Santa Barbara County Schools and Chairman, Teachers Network Board of Trustees

"The massive media and bipartisan support managed to make a lot of folks "out there" on the ground think we were crazy, out of synch, and powerless.  It's encouraging to see that we have not been alone and that the voices of teachers and parents are finally being heard.  We might be able to get the reform movement back on track.  Thanks for undertaking this."
Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar, New York University Steinhardt School of Education

"Most teachers across the nation justifiably oppose NCLB's overreliance on testing and punishment.  Educators see it narrow curriculum, hurt learning, and drive out good teachers. The law must be overhauled so that it strengthens teaching and schools. Assessment can and must become a tool to help the learning process, not bludgeon students and teachers."
Monty Neill
, Executive Director, FairTest

"As we look at this data, it seems very clear that from the teachers' perspective, NCLB is a top down mandate about which they feel greatest pressure for their students to pass high-stakes tests coming from their district administrators.  This deprofessionalizes the teaching force, pushing teachers towards rote instruction that bypasses curriculum areas that are not tested and minimizes teachers' efforts to be responsive to the specific needs of learners in their classrooms."
Professor Frances Rust, New York University Steinhardt School of Education

No wonder more and more teachers are lamenting, "I love to teach but I hate my job!" The NCLB's wrong-headed regulations were immediately obvious to teachers and are so very harmful to our most vulnerable students. If unaddressed, this purportedly well-intentioned legislation will result in the dismantling of public education - beginning with urban schools. We want accountability, but the kind that makes sense to the collective wisdom of teachers. And NCLB obviously ain't it. 
Adam Urbanski
, Director, Teacher Union Reform Network

"Every parent and policymaker agrees that the single most important factor in the quality of any child's education is his or her teacher.  And yet, when it comes to policy, we seldom listen to the wisdom of teachers in the field.  This survey sheds more light on how America's teachers, those who are expected to do the work of improving schools, see NCLB and should alert us all to the serious problems in the legislation." George Wood, Director, The Forum for Education and Democracy.


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