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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Ed Secretary Oster Defends No Child Left Behind

...meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Wow— less than 24 hours into the 2009 session of the South Dakota Legislature, and already we're scooping the poop. New Education Secretary Tom Oster proves himself as useful at defending a failed status quo as his predecessor Rick Melmer, stepping up to the mic before the House Education Committee this morning to say the No Child Left Behind Act is repsonsible for higher student achievement.

The problems with this statement?
  1. Oster cites NCLB's "emphasis on increasing test scores" (KELO's quote, not Oster's). But even the SD Department of Education has demonstrated a willingness to look past test scores for other indicators of the success. Our DoE has also acknowledged that test scores alone do not measure the skills employers are looking for.
  2. Reading scores actually went down significantly for South Dakota 8th and 11th graders from 2005 to 2007. And NCLB's relationship to that statistic would be what, Mr. Secretary?
Welcome to the show, Tom. It's good to know Governor Rounds has found another education secretary who won't let reality get in the way of trumpeting the party line. At least it makes for more exciting blogging.


  1. No Child Left Behind means teaching a student to pass a test and certainly not teaching a student to think for themselves. It's a program that steals valuable time and resources from schools.

    It's just another point in the Republican Socialist Plan.

  2. NCLB also reates a lot of paperwork for teachers. When I was in school we had those standardized tests once a year. If I remember right(that was many years ago), they were supposed to be given at roughly the same time all year.


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