NCLB Stories: Nebraska
"There has been increasing stress on teachers, as they have begun trying to balance the new demands of a curriculum that has been designed to meet the mandates of ESEA. As these demands are implemented within the schools, the amount of time that had been used for social growth, discovery learning, and physically active play and learning has been systematically reduced to the detriment of the most important aspect of our schools—the children.
"We do not have the same learning environment we used to have."
Elementary School Teacher
"ESEA needs to be changed to meet the needs of my students! My high school students are functioning at the first- and second-grade reading levels and cannot take the at-grade-level standards tests. They are only able to write five- to seven-word sentences (and that is on a good day). Instead, I must give them tests for their reading levels at the ninth- to twelfth-grade level (to match their peers).
"School should be more than just teaching to standards."
Mary Ann Niemoth
Special Education High School Teacher
Hastings Public Schools
"Our district has seen significant decreases in funding for all federal programs, including Title I, technology, special education, and Perkins. These programs are crucial to rural schools. Our Title I student population remains constant, yet we have reduced staff because of budget cuts. Our Title II, part D funding for technology, has been cut significantly in the last five years. It is difficult to maintain high achievement levels when all these worthy programs are being eliminated."