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PUBLISHED: 4:56 PM on Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Some are still left behind
For years, the nation has been worrying about bringing students up to grade level, not about helping other students exceed. Advanced Placement classes have gone into schools recently, but still many advanced students aren't receiving an opportunity to get advanced classes. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act is only worsening this opportunity by increasing the necessity of teaching "to the test" and not to student ability. Above-average students in public schools have the same right as below-average students to be taught at their level.

The State Constitution requires that there is "free appropriate public education". Ed-u-ca-tion: the process of acquiring knowledge. "The word education means that the student is learning something, and if a program or class is not teaching a student new concepts, then they're not receiving a free education that is required under the State Constitution," says Jean Mischel. The government owes it to the country to provide an education for every citizen.

President Bush's NCLB act is meant to keep the less smart kids from falling further behind than they already are. What about the above-average kids? What happens to them? If kids in all different places in terms of learning are all taught the same thing: the minimum standard, then somebody will be left behind. Who should it be, the kids below grade level failing to understand work requiring a higher degree of knowledge, or students far above everyone else in their class losing their advantage and reviewing material over and over again? There are other options like separating classes and tracking kids based on previous class performance or test scores. This way everyone gets to learn material around his or her level and make the best of what they have.

With more development of talents and more education according to ability, the society does better and has more intelligence as a whole. Our nation cannot succeed without talented people specializing in certain areas. A society needs a variety of talents and will only do better if all areas of work have some experts. Dividing classes helps everyone, not just advanced students.

Equal opportunity for everyone is part of a democracy. If below-average students receive appropriate schooling and are taught at their level, then above-average students should also. When a nation has a number of jobs requiring intelligent, well-educated workers, it needs division of classes and tracking in public schools. Without it, ones who obtain the ability to succeed will never have a chance to reach that point.


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