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NCLB Stories: Wyoming

“I have been working in a public school on the Wind River Indian Reservation for 12 years. When I first started my career at Fremont 38, I expected that one requirement would be to learn the Arapahoe language.

"That was not the case. Since then, I have struggled alongside of the Arapahoe people who are fighting to regain their language.

“The current ESEA legislation has made this fight harder than necessary. The suggestions for improvement are a scripted program—our government has sold out to the big textbook companies—that does not provide for the fabulous differences our Native children bring to the education environment. School has become boring and hopeless for our students.

"Children are dropping out in middle school and turning to the fast track of meth and selling illegal drugs.

 “I strongly suggest we turn back to the research-based best methods of teaching and bring our students back to the critical thinking and positive learning that we were turning to 10 years ago. Funding for Native language immersion is an investment that our students must have to heal and to gain success and peace within their community.”

Kelly Goede
Pre-K Teacher  
Fremont SD 38
Riverton, Wyoming

 

"I am speaking not only as an educator, but also as a parent. The stress I see in teachers every day over state assessments has found its way into my house.

"It is certainly naive to think that nine-year-old girls don't worry. I just think that they should worry about who to sit next to at lunch, or whether they remembered their PE shoes, or how long can a cat actually live, or if it is okay that they love science, not boys.

"I think something is flawed when before they go to bed at night, they are crying with worry, and I hear my daughter asking in her bedtime prayers for God to ‘please help me with the math test tomorrow.’ When this level of concern over testing makes its way into my personal domain, I worry that much more.

"Are other parents, who are not as educated as I am on the ins and outs of AYP and ESEA, equipped to deal with their children's stress, or do they add to it with stress of their own? These are the concerns I have. If we don't want any child left behind, we need to take care of the entire child, not just the part that reads, writes, and does the math. Thank you!"

Mary Smiley
Elementary school teacher
Sheridan County 2
Sheridan, Wyoming