School Says "No Child Left Behind" Should be Revised

By Sarah Goebel | 

President Bush pushes for the renewal of the "No Child Left Behind Act."

The purpose of the program is to bring every student to "proficiency" in math and reading by 2014.

The national test scores were released Sept. 25. They showed elementary and middle schoolers posted solid gains in math and modest improvements in reading.

The president says the numbers prove the measure is working.

We spoke with one local school that disagrees.

Patrice McCrary is a Kindergarten teacher at Cumberland Trace Elementary in Bowling Green.

"When we teach a lesson, we make sure every child in that room has grasped the concept," McCrary assured.

That is what No Child Left Behind is all about.

But she said the measure focuses too much on numbers and tests.

"We assess , we assess, and we asses some more. We've reached the point where we've forgotten the child in No Child Left Behind," McCrary explained.

Mary Evans, principal at Cumberland Trace Elementary, agrees--if the measure is renewed, she wants to see it revised.

"A concern I have is the No Child Left Behind Act has narrowed the curriculum. The focus has become teach to the test," Evans said.

"If you or I went to Japan and only lived there for two years. How would you feel if we had to take a high stakes test and be expected to score high levels?" she continued.

Evans said No Child Left Behind focuses on groups of students not individuals--like special needs, regular students, free and reduced lunch students and English as a second language students.

"We need to celebrate the progress they're making individually rather than putting a sign on a child saying you're free and reduced, this is where you need to be," McCrary said.

She added that not all students develop at the same speed and this will need to be taken into consideration if the No Child Left Behind Act is going to work

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