A middle school principal sneaks up on the truth about "No Child Left Behind":
These social issues do not stop at the school doors, so we must ask: Are we expecting our schools to educate? Or are we expecting them to educate after fixing the social ills that contribute directly to our education ills?
This discussion should be about the truths in education today: that education doesn't take place in a vacuum, that not every child has the same resources at home (or even an actual home) and that it requires more than political rhetoric or testing to fix. If we want to improve education, then we must be honest. Most of us remember a time when students failed school. Now the political phrase is schools failing students.
In the movie "Waiting for Superman," a man laments "what this school has done to this community," as if the school is solely responsible, and the community has no responsibility whatsoever. Where is the honesty in that?
We do have to hold schools accountable -- as the principal acknowledges -- but the truth is that some students will be left behind because they start out so far behind, and schools can only do so much to make up for what they lack when they come in the door. That's just life, like it or not.