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NEA Members, You Are Being Sold Out By Your Union

Ohanian Comment: The NEA leaders, who like to sit at the table with rich and important corporate politicos, deliberately ignore the Business Roundtable goals underlying NCLB.

Teachers, throw off your chains. They will bury you, if you don't.

To the Editor:

Your Sept. 7 editorial "Really Leaving No Child Behind" stated that the National Education Association "would like to see the law gutted." In fact, the N.E.A. wants the No Child Left Behind law strengthened and improved so it can actually accomplish its laudable goals. Since our 3.2 million members work in our nationâ's schools every day, we have some pretty good ideas about the current law's shortcomings and how it can be improved.

The main problem is that the current regime of snapshot, multiple-choice tests is one-dimensional and unfair to children. We have urged the House Education Committee chairman, George Miller, and other lawmakers to shift toward an approach that tracks the progress of individual students over time. The draft revision released by Mr. Miller on Aug. 28 is a step in the right direction, but it would still rely too heavily on the current snapshot tests.

We also hope that any final version of the bill would not only require testing but also provide resources for programs that improve test scores, such as smaller class sizes, quality pre-K programs and mentors for new teachers. I have been invited to testify before Mr. Miller's committee on Monday, Sept. 10, and I look forward to continuing our discussion about how we can improve and strengthen No Child Left Behind.

Reg Weaver
National Education Association
Washington, Sept. 7, 2007

— Reg Weaver, President, NEA
New York Times




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