Thursday, July 20, 2006

AFT's Anti-NCLB Cartoon

Back in February, I received a request to advertise an anti-NCLB cartoon created by the American Federation of Teachers. Since I support the No Child Left Behind Act, I wasn't inclined to do that. Still, I went and looked at the cartoon and found it wrong if not outright deceptive.

It's been long enough. I thought it would be fun to post my email exchange here now.

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Dear Darren,

You and your readers might be interested in this new flash cartoon about the No Child Left Behind Act just released by the American Federation of Teachers.


Check it out here: www.LetsGetItRight.org/cartoon.

The American Federation of Teachers believes strongly in NCLB's goals, but as education professionals, we know that the law needs some important reforms in order to meet those goals.

The cartoon www.LetsGetItRight.org/cartoon also links to a micro-web site and blog about NCLB. We invite you to link to it as well.


We're hoping this cartoon will spark some much needed debate about NCLB. Please let us know what you think. And I am happy to provide you with more information about the campaign and the flash movie, if you'd like.

Thanks,

Ginny
~On behalf of the American Federation of Teachers

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I'm unimpressed.

NCLB doesn't mandate dropping history, school plays, and the like. (The cartoon implied it did--Darren) Those decisions are made at the local level.

What changes do *you* want to see made to the law?

Darren

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Hi Darren,


Thanks for writing back. You can find out more about the AFT’s position on NCLB on their website letsgetitright.org.

I’m referring your email to someone at AFT who can give you a more substantive answer to your question.

Ginny

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Hi Darren,
Your message was forwarded on to me. I am one of the bloggers at the AFTs NCLBlog. Thanks for your comments, we appreciate the feedback.
While you are correct in saying that NCLB does not madate dropping history or cancelling a school play, the point of the cartoon ad was to show--in a light-hearted way--that NCLB is leading to a narrowing of the curriculum in some places, which is of great concern to us and our members.
I encourage you to visit our NCLB Web site and blog to learn more about our position on the law.
Michele at AFT

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I know what your point was. It's just mistaken.

What you're complaining about is local implementation of the law. That sounds like a local issue to me, not something that needs to be addressed in the law.

I appreciate your taking the time to communicate with me--and in a civil manner!

Darren

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It's always good to get feedback. We need to know if the message is not coming through clearly.

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End of email conversation.

As I read what I wrote, I sure do come across as harsh. It wasn't my intent; my intent was to come across as direct. That's entirely different. I can see that I have room to grow in this medium of communication.

1 comment:

EllenK said...

Part of the problem is that if and when funding is limited, the local decision ALWAYS errs on the side of local bias. For example, the angst of funding has been a headline issue in Texas for years leading to a very unpopular decision known in the media as the Robin Hood Law-a tax sharing plan. What was lacking was any sort of oversight and with site based management, that means that some less than scrupulous school boards could and have opted to spend money recieved from this program for things other than academics. This means that programs such as fine arts are cut because money for academics must come from the smaller budgets. On one hand, I have heard it stated that poor districts "deserve" all the perceived frills and whistles of larger, "wealthier" districts, but does it makes sense to spend someone else's tax money on athletics and uniforms and then complain because school theater programs are cut? And as someone who is in the fine arts, I can assure you that is exactly what is happening. And still poor decisions are rewarded with good money after bad.

*live from Austin*

P.S. IMHO County Line Barbecue has to be the best in the state.