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[Susan notes: Three cheers for Juanita Doyon, who helps activist causes throughout the country with custom-made buttons and advice when she's not writing letters to the editor.]

Published in News Tribune

To the editor

Re: "More schools miss goals” (TNT, 8-15).

It is a shame that the chair of our state school board cannot see WASL scores and federally mandated "adequate yearly progress" for what they’re worth.

Mary Jean Ryan's statement that the latest reported data are "sobering" implies that our schools, teachers and students have been spending time partying, thinking all is well with the education world. Ryan must be forgetting the budget cuts foisted on our schools by our stumbling economy. No one is partying in our 295 school districts.

Hope in Washington state is that we have a new state superintendent, Randy Dorn, who recognizes No Child Left Behind for the harmful farce it is. Sobering is the fact that our new president and his education secretary are perpetuating the worst of the testing regime and union-bashing ways of their predecessors.

Federal education standards are in the works and with them will come federal high-stakes tests to further narrow curriculum and degrade the teaching profession and leave more of our children behind than ever before.

Our country is built on diversity. Now, when our schools are serving more diverse student populations than ever before, is the time to say, "Enough!" to those who would standardize the teaching and learning of our children to feed the data addictions of corporate leaders and politicians.

We have sacrificed well-rounded educations for an entire generation of children. It's time state and federal officials recognize that their solution is the problem.

Doyon is director of the Parent Empowerment Network.

Juanita Doyon

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