A Local NCLB Failure
Because of failures to meet “No Child Left Behind” standards, West Middle School in Fort Duchesne, Uintah County, Utah will be forced to close its doors and the students, nearly all of them Native Americans from the Ute tribe, will be bussed 20 miles into Vernal (http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_7746300).
The students will be waking up 30 minutes earlier (just what every middle-schooler needs) and going to a school with a predominantly white student-body.
The really disturbing thing about this story is its coincidence with the Republicans in the state legislature pushing for a $90 million tax cut (although the Republican governor has no tax cut planned in his budget). In 2006, the primary concerns of Utahns were education and transportation. Tax cuts were far down the list. But in order to burnish their “conservative” credentials, Utah’s Republican leadership is continually ignoring the priorities of the people for the priorities of the party ideology.
How much money could a 120-student school require to get it up to snuff? I’ll bet 1% of the proposed tax cut ($900,000) would go a very long way to help this school and its students.
So what has NCLB accomplished here?
– It has made education more remote for children already on the fringe.
– It has made another school more crowded.
– It has taken children out of a comfortable environment (where learning is most effective), and put them into an unfamiliar, stressful situation in which learning is very unlikely.
– It has placed testing before education in the life of 120 children.