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[Susan notes: Jane Watson notes the lack of transparency, something that letter writers should continue to note, as they point out that Race to the Top is even worse than NCLB.]

Submitted to Time Magazine but not published

To the editor

re March 29, 2010 p. 49 "Making the Grade"

Obama's plan, AKA "The Blueprint," gets a grade of "D." The reason it gets such a high grade is because it does call for literature-rich classrooms, teacher professional development, and self-directed student learning. One wonders how all that will fit in when in "The Blueprint," the word "standards" is used 48 times, "assessment,"37 times; "thinking," 2 times, "library," 1 time. "Reading," "writing," and "book" are never mentioned.

Using his own standards, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan should be replaced. When he was CEO of Chicago Public Schools, the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores for Chicago were dismal. Let Duncan play basketball with Obama. The Secretary of Education should be somebody who knows something about education.

The Good Ole Boys Club has got to go. Nepotism and profiteering should not continue from NCLB into Race To The Top and "the Blueprint" (for LEARN). Transparency is needed, but is not happening. The same people chosen by NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), who stacked the deck on the National Reading Panel are now choosing the recipients of the RTTT (Race To The Top) grants.

Education is not about which company can make the most money with their tests. It is about developing a life long love of learning. This cannot be read into "The Blueprint."(218 words)

Jane Watson

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