Fixing No Child Left Behind: What Our Schools Really Need

I invited my executive editor at Parenting,
Elizabeth Shaw, who covers education
for the magazine, to share her thoughts as we begin the new school year.

As
millions of kids headed back to school this month, many parents, teachers, and
administrators had a lot to think about. Important things, like: Will there actually be enough seats in the
ever-ballooning classes? What can be done to make sure the students improve
enough this year to meet state testing targets? Where will the kids go now that
the after-school care programs have been cut?

Instead,
what got all the attention in the days leading up to the start of the new year?
Whether it was appropriate for schools to air President Obama’s speech on the
importance of education to students. It’s partisan fiascoes like this that get
in the way of the actual work that needs to be done for our schools—and our
kids.

And
when it comes to education, that work means fixing No Child Left Behind.  There’s wide agreement among experts and
policymakers that something has to be done to make this law more effective, yet
it’s two years overdue for reauthorization and many schools continue to
struggle—instead of flourish—under its mandates. 

This
issue has become a top priority for Parenting
magazine’s Mom Congress, a new grassroots initiative connecting moms fighting for better schools. And
this month, Parenting School Years features a special Mom Congress
report on NCLB
, digging deep to reveal what the law intended (high standards and
accountability), where it went wrong (testing, testing, testing), and what can
be done to improve it (smarter testing, more money). The magazine has also
launched a petition to Congress on Parenting.com, urging lawmakers to move education reform to the top of
their agenda.  This is what our kids and
teachers need…not the headache of managing the politics of whether the
President has the right to speak to kids about all they have to gain by making
school a priority.

To
learn more about Mom Congress, No Child Left Behind, or to sign the petition,
visit us at
Parenting.com/momcongress.