Friday, August 28, 2009

No Stupidity Left Behind

According to this article from yesterday's New York Times, the No Child Left Behind law has been successful in increasing the performance of low-achieving students. The problem, they say, is that this gain comes at the expense of the high-achievers. Consider this quote:
[E]ver since the law was enacted in 2002, analysts and educators have worried that gifted pupils would be the ones left behind. While the law puts extraordinary pressure on schools to lift the performance of low-achieving students, it includes no incentives to accelerate the progress of high achievers.
Let me iterate the last line: "it includes no incentives to accelerate the progress of high achievers." Well, Hullo! It was never intended to help boost the achievement of the already high achievers. To title the article Smart Child Left Behind is an insult to all the parents who counted on the program to help their kids get an education. Smart kids left behind from what? A college education? Puh-leeease.

Here's an idea to help reduce the achievement gap: take the money that would have been spent to give kids who have already "gotten" the material further enrichment and invest in the kids who are struggling. This "give my kid a better education and the hell with all those other kids" attitude will bite society in the butt someday.