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NCLB Stories: Louisiana

"ESEA has prevented me from being able to teach my students on the level they need to be taught in order to progress effectively through their school years. ESEA should have been phased in, one or two grades at a time, for it to work correctly. Taking children who have not learned the skills they need to be promoted and moving them on until the test stops them is unfair to them. All this does is frustrate them, causing them to give up completely.

 "ESEA needs to be reworked to correctly address the problems, starting from kindergarten, and then gradually moving up grades until it has been phased in."

Karen Bell
Elementary School Teacher
Tangipahoa Parish
Hammond, Louisiana


"NCLB has impacted the mentally handicapped students in the United States . It doesn't make sense to teach to a test that waters down curriculum. I believe that all students have the right to an education, but 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it.' You can't expect a child with a low IQ to perform on the same level as a child with a 150 IQ.

"All students feel frustrated. Students in the lower spectrum feel as if they can never be successful; those at upper levels become bored; and the students in the middle are forgotten and slip between the cracks. "

"It is time that someone realized that not all children can be grouped together for instruction. It does work in a few instances but, the majority of the time, teachers are trying to keep discipline in a situation that is impossible to maintain. Low-achieving students act out because they can't read and write; the upper-level achievers are bored to tears; and the mid-level students spend their time wondering why someone doesn't care!"

Ramona Malbrough
Junior High School Teacher
Terrebonne Parish
Houma, Louisiana


"I am Sarah Scott, a veteran teacher who will be entering her 40th year of teaching in the 2006-07 school year. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy children.  I have a Master's degree plus 30 hours. I have been properly trained and have attended numerous workshops and training sessions to ensure that I keep up with the times.

"In spite of all this, my creativity and imagination are being tampered with and then replaced by nothing better."

"Several times administrators or supervisors who have no idea what kindergarten is all about have questioned me about lesson plans or methods that I feel are best for my students. I am bothered when my peers at other schools have to suffer because a lesson plan has to be exactly like the principal designs it, or using guidelines that have been designed without the input of experienced teachers. "

Another thing that disturbs me: We are constantly told that we do not really need textbooks and that we should be using many different resources. I like that idea, but then why buy textbooks if we don't need them?

"Finally, we are given a comprehensive curriculum that is not sequenced using the textbooks that have been purchased. If I am to be held accountable, let me teach the way I know how and the way I was taught. After all, my kindergarten children do learn to read, write their own stories, count, add, subtract, do fractions, measure, and more. Do what is best for the students: Let the teacher teach."

Sarah Scott
Kindergarten Teacher
Livingston Parish
Denham Springs, Louisiana