A general perception has been born and raised to indicate that the era of reading printed material is over. It appears that the book libraries are slowly being replaced by digital libraries. While this may seem to be the case, the possibility of totally doing away with printed books and other literature may never really happen. With advancement in technology, one would have predicted an end to use of radio with the advent of the television or an end to concerts due to availability of music on records. It never happened! (Quindlen, 2010).
Reading is an integral part of life. The mode of reading will always undergo transformation as technology advances. The fact however remains that the many forms of reading will compliment rather than supplement one another. Those who prefer the printed work complain of the letters’ appearance on the screen while those who like the digital forms claim that the printed materials are bulky and smelly. This therefore means different preferences will see the continued existence of all of these reading forms (Quindlen, 2010).
The main question at the end of the day is actually whether people read and not how they read. Surveys by Gallup indicate that reading of books has shot from 18% in 1952 to 47% in 2005. This shows that despite the advent of the technology in reading, most people still read printed material. Therefore the notion that the digital era will completely replace use of print is misplaced. The emotional connectivity experienced when reading a printed book can not be compared with the computer-displayed version and that’s why millions continue enjoying turning the pages; at least for now (Quindlen, 2010).
Obama’s War on Schools: The No Child Left Behind Act has been deadly to public education. So why has the president embraced it?
The No Child Left Behind Act was formulated with an aim of improving learners’ performance in the US from grades 3 to 8. With a target of enabling all children achieve maximum proficiency in arithmetic and reading skills by 2014, the model seems to have flopped. The demands of the model have been termed as unrealistic and punitive with adverse impacts on the child and the education system in general. The targets have forced many school administrations to abandon the conventional teaching methods that aim at imparting knowledge and instead focused on achieving the goals set by the federal law. It has been reported that many schools train students to only acquire basic skills that will help them pass the state tests (Ravitch, 2011).
The modified plan by president Obama’s administration christened ‘Race to the Top’ is even more punitive as it sets the benchmark for academic success and quality on the test scores. The program identifies the teacher to be solely responsible for the learner’s performance. It does not consider other environmental factors such as family background history which is known to contribute immensely to a learner’s overall performance. In an address lately, Obama identified innovation and creativity as the only way for America to progress and remain competitive. Ironically the program he is advocating for is the leading killer of creativity and innovativeness. The intended use of test scores to gauge educators’ competence is wrong and an insult to the teaching profession (Ravitch, 2011).
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