Obama's 'Blueprint for Reform' in Education Goes to Congress

歐巴馬教育改革政策送審國會

Photo: VOA photo - A. Belford


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 英語宅急便 VOA

Obama's 'Blueprint for Reform' in Education Goes to Congress

歐巴馬教育改革政策送審國會

17 March 2010


Goal is for all students to be able to graduate from high school "ready for college and a career" by 2020. But teachers unions and other groups object __1.__ parts of the plan.

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

President Obama sent Congress a proposal this week to __2.__ the main federal education law.

The current version of the law, signed by George W. Bush eight years ago, is known as the No Child Left Behind Act. That name would go away. The current policy calls for every student to be able to pass state tests in reading and math by two thousand fourteen. All schools must show __3.__ progress toward this goal. But states decide how much students need to know to show "proficiency."

President Obama's goal is that every student should graduate from high school -- in his words -- "ready for college and a career." The target date for schools is twenty twenty. The president described the plan in his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday.

BARACK OBAMA: "What this plan recognizes is that while the federal government can play a leading role in encouraging the reforms and high standards we need, the __4.__ for that change will come from states and from local schools and school districts."

Under the new proposal, states and school systems would compete for federal __5.__. The idea is similar to the administration's four billion dollar Race to the Top competition to reform schools.

Struggling schools could receive money for teacher improvement and for developing plans for success. The lowest performing schools would face changes such as replacing teachers and the principal or being closed.

The administration sent its general ideas to Congress in what it called "A Blueprint for Reform" to develop the next education law.Ann Bryant is executive director of the National School Boards Association. Her group worked with the Department of Education on the plan. She says it is a good start but still needs work. For example:

ANNE BRYANT: "There is no research that says that if you fire the principal you're going to get better results. There's no research that says if you fire half the __6.__ you're going to get good results. There is very __7.__ research that [says] that __8.__ chartering or bringing in an outside management company may get you better results. And there is zero research that says closing the school necessarily helps those children."

The plan would reward effective schools and teachers with money and other recognition. But leaders of the nation's largest teachers unions criticized the administration's "blueprint."

Dennis Van Roekel of the National Education Association said it "still relies on standardized tests to identify winners and losers." He also expressed disappointment that states would have to compete for money. Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers said the plan appears to place all the responsibility on teachers, but gives them "zero percent authority."

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.


I. Multiple choice questions

1. A) of B) to C) at D) x
2. A) rewrite B) reform C) recharge D) rebuild
3. A) year B) a year’s C) year of D) yearly
4. A) development B) encouragement C) impetus D) motive
5. A) funds B) grants C) revenues D) subsidies
6. A) faculty B) employees C) superintendents D) administrators
7. A) much B) little C) a great number of D) few
8. What does “charter” mean here?
    A) to replace with B) to give authority to C) to establish D) give responsibility to

II. True or false questions (T for true; F for false)

1. ____ The “blueprint” proposed by the president has already been launched.
2. ____ Obama’s blueprint calls for students to pass the proficiency tests on reading and math.
3. ____ Obama expects students to be more competitive in academic and future careers.
4. ____ There are some objections to Obama’s educational reform.
5. ____ The implementation of this program is not backed up with statistical evidence.
6. ____ Teachers are given full control over the administration of the “blueprint”.


ANS:

I. Multiple choice questions
1. B 2. A 3. D 4. C 5. B 6. A 7. B 8. B
 
II. True or false questions
1. F 2. F 3. T 4. T 5. T 6. F    
 
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