Has No Child Left Behind, left us behind?
On October 13, 2004 with reference to the No Child Left Behind Act President Bush stated “ …guess who would get shuffled through? Children whose parents wouldn’t speak English as a first language just move through. Many inner-city kids just move through….And when we find a problem, we spend extra money to correct it.”
What former President Bush neglected to acknowledge is what would happen to the Education System when there is no “extra money” to spend on education?
With a failing economy Government-funded schools are no strangers to budget cutbacks. Along with the fear of losing money public high schools also fear the repercussions of their student’s failing their regents exams. These exams determine the progress of the school and if the government should continue to contribute to its finances.
When it comes to regents exams, passing is passing. There is no contrast between a 65 per cent or 80 per cent. Yet, the distinction although not seen in a high school institution can determine whether one graduates from a two-year or four-year college of The City University of New York (CUNY) within six years or if one graduates at all.
High school students’ level of proficiency is based on the regents that are taken. A high school diploma is granted if all regents requirements are met, yet this does not securely judge if the said student is prepared for college level courses.
CUNY’S junior colleges (two year colleges) offer courses such as Respiratory Therapy provided at Borough of Manhattan Community College that can produce up to $ 67,787 annual income in New York State.
However, most students are unable to take advantage of these opportunities because remedial classes interfere with the completion of their studies. Setting college students back up to between three and four years.
Remedial classes are classes taken in college to master the basics in subjects such as English, Maths, and Science. In essence you are taking non college credit classes that you should have been proficient in during your four years of high school.
In regards to remedial classes in college, Dr. Gregory Hodge, the principal of The Frederick Douglass Academy states, “ It makes absolutely no sense for a student to go to college and pay several thousand dollars to do the school work they should have done in high school.”
According to CUNY’s admissions requirements one must receive a 75 or higher on N.Y State English Regents as well as on one of the Math Regents. The New York Times states that “ three-quarters of the 17,500 freshman at the community colleges this year needed remedial instruction in reading, writing, or Maths.” These numbers question the quality of work we are involved in during our four years of high school and the success of No Child Left Behind.
“Here at the Frederick Douglass Academy we have successfully met our state requirements for our English, Maths, and Science regents according to New York City Department of Education.
“But just passing the exams cannot suffice. Dr. Hodge believes we should strive and achieve 90 in everything because it is the only way to ensure success in college “60s and 70s will only guarantee you remedial classes.” (Sasha Schultz)
Note: Sasha Schultz is a Guyana-born New York based student who has confronted this issue.