No child left behind’s real fiscal focus

Chaz Stewart | Staff Writer

May 1, 2014

How no child left behind, constantly gets forgotten.

With protocols put into place to never leave a child behind, as far as education goes, why is it that graduation statistics are growing, but annual measurable objectives are low? Is there anything that can be done to fix it?

On January 2001, George W. Bush and his team signed and implemented the “No Child Left Behind Act” to give funding to schools that have students doing well on overall standardized tests. If students did not do well, then procedures were taken in order to get them to do better. It all seemed like a fully functioning plan, but within perfection, there are the possibilities of flaws.

According to the Local Education Agency Report or LEA of the Department of Education, “students from the Riverside school district did not meet their percentage rate of 1.0 in English or Mathematics.”

Even though students from the Riverside school district did not meet their percentage rate of English and Math. According to LEA statistics show that the target for English – Language Arts was 89 percent of 2013, with Blacks showing a 58.2 percent above proficient, Asians 82.9 percent above proficient, Hispanic or Latino at 50.3 percent above proficient, White at 72.5 percent above proficient, and students with disabilities at 34.4 percent above proficient.

Also, math resulted in the same problems, with a target percentage of 89.1 percent, with Blacks at 61.5 percent, Asians at 87.8 percent, Hispanics or Latino at 55.7 percent, Whites at 72.7 percent, and Students with Disabilities at 37.8 percent above proficient.

Now something like that makes no sense. Learning to communicate in the United States is essential because English is the main language, from billboards to purchasing your daily meal; English is apart of an everyday life. Our youth are having a hard time meeting the standards.

Math seems to be a problem as well for children to pass, and that’s a universal language. Even little children understand two Reese’s peanut butter cups is better than one, or $10 is much better than $5.

I can understand the grammar difficulties of English, but math is pretty much black and white, but all together collectively, what are we missing?

Well if we look at the graduation rates, the answer could be in plain site. According to LEA, “the graduation year of 2013’s goal was 90 percent as a whole, with every race meeting the goal except Whites which was 85.29 percent of a racial goal of 86.06 percent.

Now why is it that way? Why is the government comparing the graduation rates to the proficiency rates?

Funding.

Some teachers pass along students that probably should not pass, and in turn, line their pockets with bonuses and a guaranteed job.

According to the “Background & Analysis” of the Federal Education Budget Project, “Teachers collectively received an incentive of $284 million for 2013, just to get students to pass or graduate, and that is just a small number of the amount of money that is funded to schools, for low Math & English numbers, and high graduation statistics.

With that being said when economic turmoil ensues, teachers are the first to get cut. However that does not mean that educators should diminish the student’s education.

So how do we go about fixing the problem?

Some teachers do what it takes because the incentives are great, but why not offer better incentives to the youth?

Other than a diploma or telling students they can go to college we need to provide better options. If my teacher or school told me as a kid that by the end of the year of each year, if I had a 3.0 or above, I would receive a $3,000 scholarship for college I would have worked my butt off.

We should stop giving incentives to the teachers, but instead give them to the students.