Send in the lawyers

School districts that can’t meet the standards set by No Child Left Behind are expected to file lawsuits to avoid sanctions.

Education Gadfly writes:

Observers now expect a flood of legal challenges to NCLB, organized and funded by teachers’ unions and cheered on by interest groups such as the National Conference of State Legislatures. California’s Coachella Valley Unified school district may be the first to sue, on grounds that English language learners are being held to unreasonable expectations. Expect similar suits from states alleging that NCLB is an under-funded mandate.

Besides, now that the election is over, there are all those unemployed lawyers looking for something to do.

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Comments

  1. Mike in Texas says:

    How dare those school districts hire lawyers to fight an idiotic law whose only purpose is to put them out of business (sarcasm on in case you were wondering)

  2. Mad Scientist says:

    MiT:

    Why are you so opposed to holding schools accountable for things they should be doing already? If they were doing their jobs, then we would not need NCLB.

    Obviously, they are being held accountable for their decades of mismanagement and fad-chasing.

    The funding issue is a red herring. The only funds needed are the funds to administer and grade the exams. The schools should be able to provide education to the standards with what they have already extorted from the taxpayers.

    Want some cheese to go with that whine?

  3. Andy Freeman says:

    If they’re not doing the job, why are they getting any money?

    In every other case, it doesn’t matter why someone doesn’t do the job. The fact that they don’t is sufficient for them to lose the money. Why should public schools get the money when they don’t do the job?

  4. Um, is anyone forcing these schools to take the money?

    It has strings attached, sure. If you find the conditions too costly, THEN DON’T TAKE THE MONEY.

    Typical school reaction though: “We’re DUE that money (and more!), we shouldn’t have to do anything for it.”

  5. What’s sacrosanct about a school district? If the questionable good of public education can occur without a school district then why do we need them?

    I find it interesting that you are defending school districts, Mike.

    That’s were most of the educrats that you’ve claimed blight the lives of teachers go to sleep during the day. I would think that someone who’s upset with the damage caused by educational bureaucrats would welcome a way to dispense with them.

  6. I concur that NCLB is a prescription for total edcational reform, i.e. doing the same thing to public education as we know it that welfare reform did to welfare as we knew it. Not that this is a BAD thing.

    My school took a hit in just one of the student categories, but a hit’s a hit. The hit was for “economically disadvantaged,” as if we had any control over the lack of both cultural and genetic endownment our students have received.

    Public Education has developed major structural deficits which are proving to be its downfall. We can prate of “inclusion,” “equity,” “cooperative learning,” multiculturalism” or whatever other nice names we think up for attacks on mainstream ways of thinking, but no parent with a choice wants to put up with it.

    I am proud of the work I do in an urban public school. I hope that I keep doing it until 2014. However, I would not subject my own children to that environment for thirty seconds: I did not, and virtualy none of my colleagues do so now. Teachers are supposed to be smart people, but thinking that citizens are going to continue to pay us to use their children as means to our ideological ends, we are acting awfully, awfully dumb.

  7. mike from oregon says:

    Lou, the fact that (you stated) you would not subject your own children to the public education enviroment speaks volumes. Nationwide there have been studies done that show that public school teachers who send their kids to private schools in greater numbers (versus those who allow their kids to go to public schools) than most other professions. However, I do not blame you, I certainly don’t blame NCLB – I blame teacher’s unions, I blame school administrators, I blame gutless school boards, I blame parents who fail to hold their kids accountable, I blame a society (that the liberals have pushed on us) that fails to hold parents accountable both for the actions of their kids as well as their own actions. The school is merely a reflection of what society has become.

  8. Mike in Texas says:

    It has strings attached, sure. If you find the conditions too costly, THEN DON’T TAKE THE MONEY.

    Allen, I agree with you on this one. Too many state legislatures need to develop a little backbone and tell the feds to drop dead and keep their money too.

    There are strings attached to all that money, and the strings are not going to do schools any good, so just stop taking the money. Many states complain the cost of implementing NCLB is greater than the amount of federal money they receive anyway

  9. dr. cookie says:

    Schools are supposed to teach kids. Right? We pay a lot of money in taxes so every kid can go to school because we (Americans) think schooling is a good thing. Right?

    And NCLB demands that schools show us that kids are learning. And this is bad because…..well, why? Up until NCLB, schools could mask the achievement of students a number of ways, and still say kids were learning. Now that can’t happen. Or it can’t happen if you want Title I money.

    In my affluent, university town, the public schools always show off great test scores. But under NCLB, the schools had to disaggregate the data by race, and people were shocked at the achievement gap between white and black kids. Apparently the low achievement among minorities had been nicely covered up by the high achievement among whites. Our local educators are screaming about how NCLB will ruin education. From what I can see, NCLB has exposed the failure of educators.

    Why do educators act like factory workers instead of like professionals? Why don’t they take responsibility for their practice and its outcomes, and thus work on better ways to teach? It’s nuts.

  10. Mike, that was rkayn who suggested just not taking the money if you don’t like the strings.

    My question was why you seem to be defending the school districts since that’s the source of so much of what’s wrong with both public education and teacher’s professional lives?

  11. Mad Scientist says:

    dr. cookie:

    You ask “Why do educators act like factory workers instead of like professionals?”. The answer is simple: They are unionized just like so many factory workers.

  12. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    My question was why you seem to be defending the school districts since that’s the source of so much of what’s wrong with both public education and teacher’s professional lives?

    I’m defending them b/c I don’t believe they are the source of most problems in education; our society is to blame. See the story about the ad campaign which is basically a disguised call for oral sex. A link to this article is posted on this site. I also don’t think a bunch of politicians in Washington should be telling local school districts what to do, I don’t believe they have the best interests of kids in mind.

  13. Why do educators act like factory workers (with regards to producing better outcomes in socially disadvantaged groups) instead of like professionals?

    Odd, this disparate set of outcomes is found across the board. For example, studies have shown that blacks attending the same doctors don’t seem to obtain the same medical benefits.

    I’m not going to speculate on the reasons why these sort of disparities exist, but the idea that teachers are solely negligent for not fixing the problem is idiotic. These disparities are spread throughout society, and the solutions are not going to be either simple, cheap, or confined to schools alone.

    It’s like assuming that all traffic jams are the fault of city planners. There’s influence all right, but *nothing* is going to solve the problem if everyone wants to drive (alone) in their automobile. (Although you’ll no doubt find some here arguing that if the planners were willing to bulldoze most of the city to expand the roads, the problem would be solved…)

  14. Mike from Texas wrote:

    I’m defending them b/c I don’t believe they are the source of most problems in education; our society is to blame.

    Really? Maybe you ought to do a little investigating then.

    Since you didn’t know who the teacher of the year was until I jabbed you into looking, you probably don’t know what percentage of the per student budget goes to support your own district bureaucracy.

    Do you think someone who represents themselves as a teacher might like to know what part of the budget that’s supposed to go to paying teachers, buying books, heating and cooling school buildings and keeping them in repair is going to fund a bureaucracy that does precious little to justify its existance?

    Question: How many educrats does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Answer: While lightbulb-changing is a laudable goal, budget constraints and staffing considerations require that bulb-changing be submitted to the district committee on resource allocation – next meeting FY ’05 – to be prioritized in accordance with district strategic direction, applicable state and federal law and the district superintendant’s vacation schedule.

    Darkness-management strategies should be explored by a cross-disciplinary parent, student and teacher committee during the light-bulb changing policy formulation period.

    Exciting work is being done with oil lamps and pending the approval of a cutting-edge oil lamp grant students and teachers are urged to feel their way in the dark.

    Tom West wrote:

    I’m not going to speculate on the reasons why these sort of disparities exist, but the idea that teachers are solely negligent for not fixing the problem is idiotic.

    Can we then assume from your use of this clumsy, logical fallacy, that you believe teachers have some responsibility for these disparities?

    Maybe, instead of trying to tie yourself into knots to avoid saddling teachers with the responsibility to teach, you ought to speculate on the causes of the disparities. God knows, we aren’t ever going to figure out what causes them if your willful ignorance is the norm.

  15. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    Do you think someone who represents themselves as a teacher might like to know what part of the budget that’s supposed to go to paying teachers, buying books, heating and cooling school buildings and keeping them in repair is going to fund a bureaucracy that does precious little to justify its existance?

    I’m surpised (very) to say I agree with you Allen about too much money being spent on things having nothing to do with teaching. It shouldn’t surpise you that here in Texas many school districts that are laying off personnel due to budget problems would never dream of cutting any of the athletic teams, especially football. The populace would rise up and burn down the administration buildings if football got the axe.

  16. Mike in Texas wrote:

    It shouldn’t surpise you that here in Texas many school districts that are laying off personnel due to budget problems would never dream of cutting any of the athletic teams, especially football.

    Actually, you’re not agreeing with me. You’re doing a less-then-subtle job of changing the subject.

    From your response would it be safe to say that, as a teacher, you’d put an end to the sports programs before you’d put an end to the bureaucrats?