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Arguments From Democracy Left Behind: Nclb And Civic Education

631 words - 3 pages

According to the speakers in the film, the purpose of education is to have a well-informed public that can be active members of society and participate in the democratic process. The main priority of many schools thoughtout the United States is to teach to the standard tests and to concentrate heavily on language arts and mathematics. Many of the teachers in this film believe that the focus should be more balanced and should have more focus on civic education and having a more informed student. These teachers believe starting as early as kindergarten and integrating civic education into every subject in school.
The speakers in the film believe that the purpose of education is to create a public where democracy can thrive. This means creating a new generation of young adults that are highly knowledgeable and are able to make informed decisions about political subjects and can make their votes count when they are able to vote. They have the knowledge about how the government works and what they can do as an individual to make a difference in their community. They have the knowledge to think for themselves and have good critical thinking skills. In practice, even before NCLB, the purpose of education was not about teaching civil engagement though knowledge of how the government works and what can be done. Because of NCLB, there is less focus on civic education and more focus on teaching to the tests, mainly reading and mathematics.
The big problem with NCLB is the fact that the stakes are so high for the students, teachers, schools, school systems and even the states that there is a huge focus on teaching to the test and nothing else. This is very prevalent in many schools, especially in high-risk schools with lower tests scores. The argument is if the student is able to master reading and mathematics at a...

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