Wednesday, October 3, 2007

No runners kept behind

This morning I woke up to a message on my phone from one of my best friends who isn't a teacher. In the middle of the night she was contemplating stories about my kids and had a question.

"So, I was thinking about your runners. You have 4. So what if they all ran at once? But some ran really fast and some ran slower and some ran in the middle. But you can't keep up with all of them at once, so you have to make the slow ones run faster and the fast ones run slower so everyone runs in the middle. But that really isn't fair to the fast ones. Maybe they should add to No Child Left Behind and create a No Child Kept Behind. "

She and I ran cross country together in college and both have memories of one season where some of the girls would insist that everyone run together on our long, slow runs. If anyone ran faster than them they would throw a miniature fit. If anyone ran slower they were considered a slacker. Finally our coach stepped in and presented us with some scientific data about heart rates and how 'slow' is different for everyone. Our runs needed to be differentiated for our physical needs.
Our coach got it. Do our congressmen?

This morning I was excited to hear someone who isn't in education begin to think about what NCLB means for the gifted and talented kids. If more people start asking these questions, maybe we can begin to re-write the law.


Unknown said...

What a great way to think about this!!! I know that are lower kids need help, but unfortunatly we are doing our gifted and talented kids a disservice in the process!

Tree said...

Best analogy ever.