We've all been told no child should be left behind when it comes to education. But some people are not convinced federal and state mandated programs are the most effective way to teach our children how to read.
Brittany Ritchie is a first-grader at Lacey Springs Elementary. She reads well for her age and reading specialist Karen Kee said that's because her parents and teachers are involved. But Kee wonders how that might change once the federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation intrudes.
"Teaching reading to children should be left in the hands of teachers and specialists. We know the children. We work with them every day. We know what strategies work and don't work. Not all strategies from the state will work with certain children. It depends," she said.
Education professor Richard Allington agrees. He wrote the book, "Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum,” and said federal and state mandated testing is costing localities five times as much to teach their students.
"This new federal law represents what I think is a major unwarranted intrusion on local control," Allington said.
He said the government has misrepresented scientific research on education and yet it's still requiring schools to comply with that research for federal money.
"There's no scientific evidence that shows you can test your way to better test scores or test kids to improve teaching," he said.
And Allington said states like Virginia that have invested heavily in standardized testing have shown little progress.
Allington said the key to education success is reduced class size, higher teacher salaries and better criteria credentials.
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No Child Left Behind
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