After 35 years as an Electrical Engineer, I spent several years substitute teaching. I did accept an assignment of teaching a Summer School class to teach pre-algebra to seniors so they could graduate. Most of the students would not do homework, would not do class work, and made no effort to study. They even refused to take my weekly tests. They knew if they passed the final test, they would pass the course. On the last day, three minutes before class, the teacher in charge came to me and said, these are the final tests you will give. I passed out those tests and they circled the answers, most without doing any calculations. One student got one off on his crib sheet. He put the answer for 4B down for 5, 5 for 6, etc. He was one answer off for the rest of the test. I gave him an 'F' for the class. It seems many students had a list of the answers. Many students really did not deserve the passing grade I gave them. [I could not prove they did not do the calculations in their head.] I suspect the 'F's that I did gave out were upgraded by the administration to a passing grade.
My real success in that class was a Hispanic student who did study, who did his homework, and if he didn't understand, would stay after class so that I could teach him how the math worked. In looking at his hands I could tell he had worked the fields. He deserved the C+ I gave him.
On the other hand, I was asked to sub in an 8th grade math class. There were 12 students in the class. All the students wanted to learn math. All the students knew Algebra I inside and out. Most of the Students knew trigonometry. Some of the students knew some Algebra II. I would give them a new problem and show them how to solve it. They all understood and would then ask questions two steps beyond the level I was showing them. If I had more time, I would have introduced them to The Calculus. These are our future geniuses. In most schools they have little help because resources emphasize teaching students who don't care, the students who want credit without work.
In the distribution of all students, it is normal to have a 'normal distribution' of talent and desire. For a large populations this distribution is Gaussian and plots as a 'Bell Curve'. In this chart 0.00 Sigma is the mean, much as 100 is the mean IQ. By definition, half are smarter than the mean, half are not.
The problem under the new system of 'No Child Left Behind' is that this old method of grading ranks students according to their ability and effort. Students of low intelligence or who have no incentive, are given low grades. i.e. they are 'Left Behind'. I was told by an old teacher that it was in the 1980's that such judgment became evil because it would hurt the self-esteem of those who were left behind. So now we have the situation were a math class might go over the same material until 'everyone gets it'. The problem is when that class only covers half or a third of the course material by the end of the semester so every one gets a good grade. Compared to other nations, the good students, the geniuses, are very much left far behind. Even the slower students are further behind than a class that covers all the material because knowing a class will wait for them gives them little incentive to study.
The concept of 'No Child Left Behind' has been around for thousands of years. It is a very old philosophy. It limits all to the lowest common denominator. The denominator ultimately reverts to the expectation of success without work. I have seen it in the public schools were students refuse to do homework, refuse to do class work, refuse to study, and not only expect to pass, but for all to pass with a high collective grade so as to not degrade their sense of worth.
The children of the 'No Child Left Behind' have grown up expecting to be given what they need without effort on their part. They make no pretense of earning their keep. How about 'No Family Left Behind', or 'No Union Employee Left Behind', or 'No Corporation Left Behind?' Is that what the bailouts were for?
And now we have the dream of the President's father, 'No Country Left Behind'. The dream is of a World in which every nation is equal in wealth. Did you ever envision the United States giving away our nation's wealth to third World nations so that no nation will be left behind?
From 'The Military Press', 1 October 2010, page 25,
the editor asked "What do you think?"
"An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan." All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A...
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scored never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feeling and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else."
A call into the Glenn Beck Show [October 2010] emphasizes the frustration of a father discovering her child's progression in public school will be limited:
CALLER: And I'm absolutely infuriated with all of these people passing out first place trophies to last place people that run last. I'm sick of it. It does an injustice to the people and it does an injustice to our country. My daughter is 10 years old and I pride myself in making sure that she does her homework and is the best she can be.
CALLER: She comes home from school and instead of running out into the trailer park for two hours playing with the other kids, I make sure she pounds the books and gets everything right. The other day she comes home and I said, how did you do on your social studies test? She goes, Dad, I did wonderful, I got an A plus again. And I go congratulations. She goes, but Daddy, we're going to have to take the test again. I go, excuse me? She goes, yes, Mrs. Brown says we have to take the test again. She's in fifth grade. I go, that can't be right, honey, why? Now, this is out of my daughter's mouth. She takes a breath and she sighs and she looks at me: Daddy, all of the other children in the class except for two of us did terrible because they don't study much. So the teacher said, quote, we're going to have to retake this test over and over again until the scores for our classroom come up. Well, that was it. I seen enough, you know? We talk about separation, you got to separate, you got to do your own thing, you've got to live by these basic rules. I went stomping over to the classroom and I asked the teacher, I said, is this really possible? She looks and me like inquisitive, well, why wouldn't it be? Quote Glenn, I can't even make this up: We have to wait for the other children to catch up. And I said, no, we're not going to waste time with my daughter. Can't for the 15 or 20 minutes while all of the other children are, quote, catching up? Can't you give us some other stuff to push her forward? And this is what she said to me, Glenn: It will make the other children in the class feel not as equal.
GLENN: Oh, gosh.
CALLER: That was it, Glenn. I've tried as hard as I can to be in the system. That was it. I took her out of class. I said, we're done. I'm scared to death, but I'm as excited as I can be. I'm going to get all of the old school Constitution, the declaration, George Washington, Ben Franklin and I'm going to teach her about a great history of our people and our ancestry. And I'm tired of this country accepting mediocrity. I'm tired of these people lowering the bar saying we're all equal. Glenn, when we were born out of our mothers, we're all equal. But when we start walking and talking and doing all these other things, there's a big disparity. And when I spend my two hours making sure my teacher, my child is reading and writing and these kids are out there running around like hoodlums not paying attention, my child has to suffer? It's time for America to get right and it all starts in the home. It comes from yes, sir, no, ma'am, thank you, get on your knees and pray to God. And I want to hail you and I want to thank you guys for waking people up and standing there and just telling the truth. And that's about it.
It is necessary, as a teacher, to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to learn. It is necessary, as a teacher, to help all those who want help. Sometimes bribery in the form a piece of candy or small prize can be an incentive. But it is evil to force any student to learn. And it is evil to give any student a grade that they do not deserve.
"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." --- Thomas Jefferson (U.S. president, 1801–1809) commented in his first inaugural address)
As a country, we are now asking those who have labored all their life, who live without government assistance, who have no pension, to give of their limited hard earned labor to pay for the lavish life style of those now in government offices, and give to the pensions of those who have retired from government service. How far has our nation fallen? For this is not sustainable and unchecked, will lead to our destruction.
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."
— Abraham Lincoln
What we cannot remember is that the evil of 'No Child Left Behind', 'No Employee Left Behind', 'No Corporation Left Behind', and 'No Nation Left Behind', started in the beginning with the promise of: 'No Spirit Left Behind'.
MOSES 4:1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: 'That Satan, ... , is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying---Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.'
Because Satan rebelled against God, and sought to destroy the agency of man, and saught God's power, he was 'cast down' and became Satan, the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them into captivity. One third of God's spiritual children chose Satan's plan and followed him. Satan continues to tempt the rest of us who chose to follow God and come to Earth to be tested. There is no collective salvation. Salvation is earned by those who follow God. The greatest glory in heaven is reserved for those who do all things that the Lord hath commanded.