No Child Left Behind teachers survey released

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(Host) The first survey of Vermont teachers on the law No Child Left Behind law was released today.

Educator and author Dana Rapp, who conducted the survey, said a strong majority of the teachers think teaching to the test takes the creativity out of their jobs.

(Rapp) “This is significant. I continue to be surprised with these results. I work with Vermont teachers on a daily basis as a professor of education so some of these themes resonates. But the extent to which the responses portrayed classrooms and the experiences of kids in Vermont as negative is something that I’m beginning to despair about.”

(Host) School administrators also have their doubts. Dr. William Mathis is the superintendent of the Rutland Northeast school district.

(Mathis) “It’s a wonderful sound bite and it’s what all educators believe in, is no child is left behind. But I’m afraid it’s a bit of an Orwellian allusion in terms of the way that they are phrasing it, the way they are using this language. And actually the result is exactly the opposite of what we’ve intended.”

(Host) Both Mathis and Rapp urged the Governor and the Commissioner of education to open what they called a vibrant and transparent conversation about whether No Child Left Behind is good for Vermont children.

The state Education Department says it can’t discuss the survey.

A spokeswoman says the state has no choice about complying.

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