The crucial flaw of NCLB, in my opinion, is that is fails to inspire. The law has many other faults, of course, including its lack of funding and regimented focus on testing. However, the root problem is that NCLB is attempting to use an evolutionary methodology for a truly revolutionary goal – almost total proficiency. There is no easily articulated goal which all citizens can rally around: the standards are convoluted and the metrics for success are continually redefined in contradiction with themselves. Doug Noon perfectly captures this, in the context of Kennedy’s space program:1
If we’d have used an NCLB-style approach to the Apollo moon mission, President Kennedy would have simply ordered NASA to fly conventional airplanes higher and higher until they fell out of the sky, and then blamed the pilots for lacking the will and the know-how to get the job done.
How can we reach for the moon with education?
Respond to this entry with your remarkable insights.