Friday, June 25, 2010
No Child Left Behind Here
Our fifth grader completed elementary school today. This morning we went to her promotion ceremony. I always love attending events at the school if for no other reason than reading the names of our kids' classmates: Uuganzul, Tasnim, Tamudgen, Mustafa, and my favorite, Dixie Espinoza.
The children at Hoffman-Boston speak dozens of languages and come from families with roots planted in soils all over the world. More of the kids there receive subsidized school lunches than at any other elementary school in Arlington, as well. Some of the families may be poor, but the school provides a rich learning environment. But it is a failing school under terms of No Child Left Behind.
Whenever I hear discussion of that law I think of Hoffman-Boston. Our kids have had a phenomenal experience there -- richer and deeper by far than they experienced in some high-achieving, affluent, suburban districts in other districts whose student populations were more monochromatic and mono-socio-economic. It's far from perfect, and, sadly, the worst educational aspects of the experience come when the school drills its students for the tests that determine whether or not the school is considered failing.
Still, as I watched the beautiful children walk across the stage this morning, I watched the future of the nation and I trust that when they take center stage perhaps no child will be left behind.