NCLB- an analogy
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ok here is the perfect analogy for No Child Left Behind.

A used car dealer goes to a car sale and randomly buys 25 cars. Then returns to his lot and instructs his salespeople to sell the cars. When they have sold the cars for a total of $400,000 he goes back to the car sale and randomly buys 25 more cars( with different makes, models, mileage, and options and completely different price values than the first set) and goes to his salespeople and says" Ok since you got $400,000 for the first lot you need to sell this new lot for even more money" His salespeople point out that the cars are worth different amounts, have different flaws and COMPLETELY different values making it impossible to guarantee they will sell for more. The car dealer responds " WEll if you don't sell them for more, I'll just cut your pay. That should motivate you. Because if you just worked hard enough and did your job right, you could sell each batch of cars I buy for more money than the last one no matter what shape they are in or how much they are worth."

This is the central premise of No Child Left Behind. My 7th grade students need to score higher on the test than last years 7th graders. Even though they are different kids with different abilities and problems, I should, if I was teaching right and working hard enough, be able to make them score higher than a totally different group of kids. And I should be able, each year, to make each new group of kids score higher than the kids the year before. No matter how different they are in ability or problems. Even though I didn't teach them before and have no control over what they learned previously and what concepts they've been taught. I should still be able to make them smarter and teach them so that they get even higher scores than some other kids they have nothing in common with.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007 2:13 PM


NCLB! What a wonderful idea!

I mean No Congressman Left Behind. I'd be great to see them improve 5% every year...

Sunday, May 6, 2007 3:36 PM


While knowing these facts makes me glad that, as a Canadian, we aren't quite as illogical...I still feel your pain, msg. I have personally been in situations where I have to handle several hundred students as copies of one singular behavioural model, and respond accordingly to that model in order to enforce a safe and security living-learning environment. It's admittedly not the same as trying to teach students a given curriculum when they all have different educational needs...but I support your positions.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007 12:20 PM


My wife teaches 10th grade Chemistry and she pretty much agrees with your assessment of NCLB

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 2:02 PM


There was no logic train to begin with. I have yet to meet a teacher who was happy with the constraints they are working under. They can't even pick their own teaching material.
Son's kingergarten teacher was almost in tears over the crap books she had to use. They made Dick and Jane look like Proust.
I read over each of them. I was sitting there thinking "That's crap! *I* could do better than that!", and I know next to nothing about early childhood development ... or teaching.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 11:18 AM


Logic train has definitely derailed. And crashed. And exploded. And killed everyone inside.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 9:58 AM


It's funny that a guy that can't even pronounce nuclear can lecture a nation about getting smarter.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 8:11 AM


That's the sick part( well one of them) Rose. We have to increase by 5% every year no matter what. So theoretically even if all of our kids scored 100% we could still be considered a failing school because we didn't get 105%

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 7:40 AM


It's all BS MSG. They try to apply business tactics to human service, in some ways it works, in others it fails miserably.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 7:38 AM



Doesn't it get to a certain point where it's quite literally impossible for the scores to get any higher? I mean, seriously, I think this logic train has derailed.


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