Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much these days. But the compelling arguments for putting an end to No Child Left Behind — or as we like to call it, “No Child Left Untested” — seem to be bringing the two sides together. At least that’s the message delivered by congressional leaders who say that changing the federal education law is a top priority.
But the devil is in the details, and many who want to change the failed law are unwilling to end the barrage of high-stakes standardized tests. They call it “accountability.” But here’s the thing: If No Child Left Behind has taught us anything, it’s that testing does nothing to improve the quality of a child’s education.
Nor has it done anything to close the achievement gap that exists between affluent and high-poverty children. To the contrary, No Child Left Behind has allowed the joyful process of learning to be supplanted by tedious test preparation. It strips our children of valuable learning time and it prevents teachers from connecting one-on-one with their students.
Read the rest of the editorial by Lily and Megan Olivia Hall, 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, and teacher in the St. Paul Public Schools.