Take Your "No Child Left Behind" Bonus And...

no child left behind cartoon (click cartoon for larger) As a certified teacher myself, I can't tell you how angry NCLB makes me. High performance on standardized tests are an indication of the wealth and whiteness of a school district, and are NO indication of student learning.

And the states continue to push the lie: certain Fairbanks, Alaska teachers were given $2500.00 bonuses by the state not for teaching, but for increasing standardized test scores at their school. They refused the bonuses and donated the money to other schools or to non-profits.

Principal Mary Short said as a group the staff felt the cash bonuses were inappropriate.

"Most of the discussion was about how uncomfortable the incentive program made us feel," Short said, referring to a staff meeting she convened the week before school started.

At the meeting, the staff decided to donate the bonus money from the state to nonprofit organizations or to districtwide education initiatives.

"Most felt that (the money) should go to other schools," Short said.

She said reaction by staff ranged from embarrassment over being selected to anger that the state would assume a few thousand dollars would motivate the teachers to do a better job.


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