Monday, December 02, 2002

no child left behind

The No Child Left Behind Act is new federal legislation that "redefines the federal role in K-12 education." According to the US Department of Education web site:
It is based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.
There's even a nochildleftbehind web site, which provides more information about how the bill will work.

There's a provision of the Bill that has a number of people worried. In addition to the educational aspects of the legislation, it also includes a forceful, and ham-handed requirement to give military recruiters earlier, and greater access to young teenagers. I looked through the nochildleftbehind site to try to find more on this subject. An explaination of the federal funding for access requirement under the provisions of the Bill. I couldn't find anything along those lines there.

The military does provide opportunities for many. But, should schools be required to report the names ages, addresses, and phone numbers of high school juniors and seniors to military recruiters or risk losing federal funds? Private schools receiving federal monies would also have to turn over information. Wired Magazine considers some of the issues involved in an article called Students Can't Get No Privacy. Mother Jones also covers this increased access to students:
Recruiters are up-front about their plans to use school lists to aggressively pursue students through mailings, phone calls, and personal visits -- even if parents object. "The only thing that will get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraan, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York. "Or maybe if the kid died, we'll take them off our list."
That adds a slightly different meaning to "no child left behind."

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