Teachers Applaud New Law
Students Learn What’s Really Important
July 1, 2006
Schoolteachers across the country expressed appreciation as the provisions of a law passed by Congress in May, the No Child Left Alone Act, took effect today. The law was written in consultation with the National Education Association (NEA) and supported by the U.S. Department of Education.
“This is the best thing to happen to our school, like, ever!” said Hilary Fluff, a tenth-grade teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. “Finally, I get to use that stuff I learned in my Anthropology of Education class!”
The law mandates that every child from first through twelfth grade be provided 6 hours per day of high-quality, unsupervised social interaction with peers, allowing breaks every hour for 5 minutes of graphical interface wax media coloration, two-digit counting, or sequential alphabetic character recitation.
The so-called “academic minutes” were bitterly contested during debate in the House and barely made it through the House-Senate conference committee. The conference committee later removed a controversial amendment allowing certain students to “read books” for at least 30 minutes per day. Republican congressman Tom Dorkum called the provision “elitist” and “a blatant power grab by the federal government that would have obliterated thriving local schools.”
President Bush also commented on the new law during a morning press conference, saying “Our children need to be educated for the future. Without proper socialization, children cannot learn. Terrorists hate socialism. That’s why they hide in caves. We must keep socializing ourselves to prepare for a brave new world, where socializing is important.”
Many teachers praised the law’s recognition of the need for students to learn from their peers. “There are so many times I have been talking about something and no one in the class was listening to me,” said Daniel Braun, a seventh-grade teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I thought that my students weren’t learning anything, but of course now I realize they were learning from each other. Now I just listen to them socialize, and I grade them on how many people they talk to in an hour.”
Of course, not everyone is happy with the new educational standards. Some older teachers are incensed at the stringent certification requirements contained in the law. Harold Bluhm, a high school “math” teacher for 22 years, fumed at the “nightclub” certification requirement. “I just don’t think I can get three dates a week. I’ll probably have to hire a football player to tutor me for awhile.”
However, Bluhm conceded that the law will make some much-needed changes in U.S. educational culture. “For too long we have been trying to teach kids impossible stuff, expecting them to pass tests and all that, when all along we’ve known that socialization is the most important part of education. This just forces us to face facts and let kids learn the important life skills they can only get from their same-age peers.”