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May 18, 2010

No Child Left Behind? Today It's More Like Two-Thirds

Girl reading

It's no secret that George W. Bush's policy was hardly a success.  But when I read this article in the Washington Post, I just about spit my decaf coffee across the keyboard onto my computer screen:

According to the article, two-thirds of third- and fourth-graders in Virginia and Maryland rank at the "below proficient" level in their reading skills.  And it's not like "proficient" is all that great because to get schools to be in compliance with NCLB over the few last years, many schools lowered the test scores needed for students to achieve a rating of "proficient" on the standardized tests for both reading and math so schools wouldn't lose their funding the keep teaching our kids.

How is this even possible?

Public schools in Virginia and Maryland, especially the ones in the close-in Washington, D.C. suburbs, are supposed to be some of the best in the country.  I'm lucky.  My fourth-grader is reading above her grade level and is comprehending what she's reading -- she's understanding the words, the stories and the underlying meaning in books.  But over 60 percent of our kids are not.

President Obama needs to get moving on this right away.  I he has a lot on his plate right , but if we think the economy looks bad now, I don't even want to think about it in 15 years if our kids can't keep up with their other school curricula because they're reading skills are so poor.

And I have to ask -- where was Laura Bush while our kids' reading was going down the tubes?  She was supposed to be the First Lady who championed reading, right?  I understand that maybe she didn't want to get into it with George about their now-apparent But I think she could have made time for a little pillow talk on some real education reform.

I know that's all ancient history now and it's up to the Obama administration to set things right.  But if things don't change soon, I'm afraid we'll see too many adults diving into The Pet Goat rather than some nice Charles Dickens or something from the Bronte sisters.

When Joanne Bamberger isn't hanging out here with her D.C. pals, you can find her writing about politics through the lens of motherhood at her place, PunditMom.

Originnal 50-something Moms Blog post.

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