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[Susan notes: Great punchline here: Anyone who thinks that the Department of Education or experts appointed to federal panels should be designing curriculum and tests for all -- or even any --students should reflect for a moment on the failures of No Child Left Behind.



Use it in your own letters.]

Published in New York Times
03/24/2010

To the editor

Re "One Classroom, From Sea to Shining Sea," by Susan Jacoby (Op-Ed, March 19):



The framers of the Constitution believed that, more than as a matter of tradition or convenience, states were best suited to meet the everyday needs of their citizens.



Contrary to Ms. Jacoby's assertion, the purpose of education is not meeting "the needs of a 21st-century nation competing in a global economy," but preparing young people to lead successful personal and professional lives and to become informed and caring participants in a democratic society. If education fulfills that purpose, it can't help but raise the economic status of the nation also.



Despite the errors made by state and local boards in managing schools, they are right more often than the federal government. Not because they are smarter, but because they are closer to the successes, failures and needs of their students and more affected by them.



Anyone who thinks that the Department of Education or experts appointed to federal panels should be designing curriculum and tests for all -- or even any --students should reflect for a moment on the failures of No Child Left Behind.







The writer is a retired teacher, principal and district superintendent, still teaching prospective teachers at Portland State University and writing books for practicing teachers.

Joanne Yatvin


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