Last week I had the good fortune to come across a great book, it was on the shelf at the resort that I was visiting and I have to wonder how I had never heard of it before now. No Child Held Back by Yoval Badash, is a discourse, in a workbook format, concerning the sad state of affairs of the educational system we are presently entrenched in. It also is an inspiration as it offers so many common sense ways in which we can turn things around that it is a joy to read. Since I was “on holiday” and this book was my beach reading I didn’t get involved with any of the questions and plan to go back and use the note sections during my second read through. When I returned home I realized that there is a No Child Held Back website which after joining gives you access to resources. Unfortunately the site has not been updated in some time. I tried to contact the author via LinkedIn to inquire and did not hear back yet…
What we need most is to change the mindset, especially those making the rules and regulations regarding our policies. Learning is not about test scores, teacher evaluation, or unions, it is about the kids. As the author states in his opening paragraph, everything is tied to education. He goes on to list both the positive and negative outcomes and talks of the power of education and how if effects each and every one of us from our personal to our professional lives. The belief that every child can and will thrive if given the opportunity, and that each and everyone of us needs to take responsibility for the education of our children is the backbone of this book.
What if the focus of education were No Child Held Back instead of No Child Left Behind?
The subtle nuance in language masks the seismic shift in what this would mean for students and academic achievement levels. What if our fundamental goal shifted from reducing failure rates to inspiring and enabling all students to reach their own full potential? What if our mandate were nothing less than effectively preparing all students to succeed in their academic and vocational aspirations? What if we could reach the mandated performance levels of No Child Left Behind while embracing the vision of a No Child Held Back framework?