“No Child Left Behind” and current financial crisis. Parallels?

Monday, February 8, 2010, AM | Leave Comment

New York Times online has an article – an editorial – on Thursday, February 4. The title of the article is “Making ‘No Child’ Better .” The editorial is written stating how best to make the ‘No Child Left Behind Education Act of 2002’ better and make it work. However, I see some parallels between how the law was handled and implemented and the circumstances that led to the creation of the current financial crises.

The author says

Before No Child Left Behind, most states covered up the gap by simply not reporting or analyzing test score data by race, gender or income. The law ended that practice by requiring states to provide yearly breakdowns of student achievement data along racial, ethnic and economic lines. Schools that fail to meet measurable achievement targets in math and reading can be forced into restructuring.

In addition, a little-known loophole known as the safe harbor provision allows schools that miss their goals to claim to have met them through statistical sleight of hand. This loophole should be closed.

In the article, there is a hint of “cooking” up the books [the last sentence in red] some lagging schools did in order to show that those particular schools were on the path of showing progress where in fact they were not.

Compare that to the finances of Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Polaroid, Arthur Andersen, Qwest and many others. Weren’t they cooking up the books to show they were making profits [progress]?

In a Nutshell
It seems to me that human nature is the same everywhere – in the U.S. or in a third world country.

  • In the absence of the law, humans would do whatever they please.
  • In the presence of the law, humans would do whatever they please unless the law is strictly implemented.

If nobody is watching, I can do anything I damn well please. That’s what it comes down to, I guess, as long as I can get away with it.

What do you think?

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