Measuring Teachers' Derrieres Should Replace Students Taking Standardized Tests Suggests Teacher/Author Debra Craig

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High school teacher and author Debra Craig gives this tongue-in-cheek advice in her new YouTube.com video, "Goodbye NCLB, Hello NTLB, or No Teachers with Large Behinds. She is also celebrating the first anniversary of her insightful book on public education titled, "Why Is the Teacher's Butt So Big? Plus 111 Other Mysteries of Public Education." Both her video and book not only aim to enlighten viewers about the flaws of NCLB, but also mocks its absurd and unrealistic goals

Despite all of this, Congress is still expected to renew it? It's so discouraging to be in education today

High school teacher and author Debra Craig gives this tongue-in-cheek advice in her new YouTube.com video, "Goodbye NCLB, Hello NTLB, or No Teachers with Large Behinds. She is also celebrating the first anniversary of her insightful book on public education titled, "Why Is the Teacher's Butt So Big? Plus 111 Other Mysteries of Public Education." Both her video and book not only aim to enlighten viewers about the flaws of NCLB, but also mocks its absurd and unrealistic goals.

"If George Bush's NCLB wants teachers to work their butts off so that all students succeed in public schools, then maybe instead of giving students standardized tests, the government should be measuring the butt sizes of teachers," suggests author Debra Craig. "It makes as much sense as using standardized test scores to judge schools which compares one set students to a completely different set of students."

Of course, Debra isn't really suggesting that teachers be made to reduce the size of their behinds each year to prove they are working their butts off. The illogical use of standardized test scores is just one of the many criticisms the nine year teaching veteran has with the 2002 landmark education reform legislation, No Child Left Behind. Debra made these comments in response to several media reports that have come out marking the fifth anniversary of No Child Left Behind.

Debra's goal is to separate the myths from the realities. She says the biggest myth being spun by the Bush administration is how NCLB is saving our public schools. "I couldn't believe in a press release issued by the White House praising NCLB, they infer that the achievement gap is now being closed. This is a lie just like the weapons of mass destruction George Bush fed the public to justify the war in Iraq." According to this former kindergarten teacher, data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that across the nation in 2004, white and Asian teens still outperformed their black and Latino counterparts in math and English at roughly the same rate as they did in 1999 before NCLB existed.

"NCLB has done nothing to help schools although I will give it an A+ for motivating by being punitive. In addition, states aren't held to the same standard throughout the nation and those with lower expectations often appear to have the better schools. Again, like the war in Iraq, details of this law were not well thought out from the beginning. Expecting special education students who have been diagnosed with learning abilities or students with limited English skills to still achieve proficiency at the same rate as regular education, native speakers is ridiculous. Then at the other end, some of the best schools are labeled as "not making adequate progress" because their scores are already high or because they had too many students absent on test day."

However, there is only one major reason why this former supermarket checker spends thousands of dollars on bumper stickers, mailings, and press releases and that is to help the public understand the biggest flaw with No Child Left Behind. "The most frustrating aspect about NCLB is how "experts" and politicians and the Bush administration want to totally ignore the one thing that must happen for our public schools to become successful: the parent and student must hold up their end of the bargain. Why don't these so-called highly-educated decision makers get it? If education is not important to students or parents, then all the testing, strategies, and penalties they put on schools will not work and are for naught. Yet NCLB totally blows off this basic tenet of education. I don't understand why they don't get this. "

"Despite all of this, Congress is still expected to renew it? It's so discouraging to be in education today," laments the high school on campus suspension teacher. "Instead of just having this obsession with raising test scores, if NCLB goal was to really help schools, then they would give teachers training on how they can motivate the unmotivated. Only a teacher who can do this should be called a 'highly qualified' teacher. "

People wanting to read a fresh perspective on teaching in our public schools are encouraged to check out Debra's book, "Why Is the Teacher's Butt So Big? Plus 111 Other Mysteries of Public Education. "Even though we're not all Erin Gruwells," a reference to the teacher made famous by the current hit movie "Freedom Writers", "teachers and schools work really hard to educate our students. Still there are just many things I don't understand about the thinking that takes place in public education." Her book is available at Amazon.com.

Her video, "Goodbye NCLB, Hello NTLB, No Teachers with Large Behinds" mainly focuses on the absurdities of No Child Left Behind. This part humorous/part serious look at NCLB is currently available for viewing at the website YouTube.com. The 25 minute video is broken down into five parts to facilitate sharing. To view "Goodbye NCLB, Hello NTLB, viewers need to go to YouTube.com and do a search for "NTLB." Her videos should automatically appear first on the list.

Debra is available for interviews and personal appearances, schedule permitting.

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DEBRA CRAIG

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