This evening, in honor of presidents past and present  trying to influence education and of Ted Kennedy, the one who "shepherded" the "bipartisan" No Child Left Behind Act  (NCLB) through the Senate, I am posting a parody, author unknown. What I'm posting below has made the rounds often by e-mail and on forums and blogs, but it just seemed to be crying out to become a permanent part of my blog archives at this time in our nation's history and here at the beginning of football season.
I read online the transcript of Obama's speech today to school children. I think it's probably vastly different from what he had planned to say before so many parents expressed their concerns about his agenda in doing this speech. He said some very good things that leave me wondering, based on his policies, if he actually believes much of what he said.
Our son Mark and his wife Katie are teachers in the public school system where they have to deal with the repercussions of NCLB and governmental demands almost on a daily basis and face the frustration of having to spend so much time on peripherals that they often don't have adequate time to do the course preparations they would like to or cover the material that they need to.
If the demands of NCLB were placed on the game of football, here's what it would look like.
No Child Left Behind Football
1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.
2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time, even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!
3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football.
4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will be kept only in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals.
If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.
I know that there are probably as many proponents of NCLB as there are detractors. Do any of you readers have any personal insights to add? Any thoughts on Obama's talk with our nation's school children today?
"The repetition of small efforts will accomplish more than the occasional use of great talents." - Charles H. Spurgeon
Everybody repeat after me... "We are all individuals."