If I were to go back and teach in the high school I attended, I would probably be ambivalent about NCLB. My high school featured a predominantly homogenous population of people who had lived in America all of their lives and whose parents had also been established in this country for good while. To this group of people, I think NCLB is just another set of paperwork to fill out; it's not a cause for concern. I even might go as far as to say that people like the ones I went to high school with should be able to be proficient in Language Arts and Math--provided they do not have a learning disability--and attempts to make them so should not have to dominate the curriculum.
But, in the context of an urban classroom, NCLB strikes me as an obnoxious and illogical law. How can we expect urban schools to meet AYP if they have large populations of immigrant students who are just learning English? Perhaps more importantly, what corners are cut or what skeletons are kept in the closet to insure that urban schools with large immigrant populations do meet AYP? In an urban classroom (especially), teachers need to be dynamic, to have a wide range of teaching tools at their disposal in order to meet the needs of a wide range of sometimes very different students, and one of these tools might be a varied curriculum that attempts to engage students at some visceral level, like their heritage. But, teaching a novel where the majority of the text is in dialects, while it might increase the attention and desire to learn in students, might not increase their basic knowledge of formal English, and, in the age of NCLB, this cannot be tolerated.
What a shame.