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[Susan notes: It is good to read a letter expressing the basic decency of a community. . . and for a bonus, it's a letter that understands that shaming schools is wrong.]

Published in Burlington Free Press

To the editor

More ways to assess schools than NCLB

The recent designation of Vermont "failing schools," as judged by No Child Left Behind's narrow standards, seems all wrong. Shaming schools rather than supporting them doesn't seem right. Disparaging and ignoring the efforts of schools to address intractable problems doesn't seem right.

However, I am reminded of an article that appeared in the Free Press on Oct. 31. The Winooski High School soccer team lacked the funds to buy soccer shoes and some of the players lacked the funds to buy their own. Their coach didn't shame them, didn't tell them to quit and they played without cleats. The coach and team of rival Enosburg with their community provided the Winooski team with the shoes they needed to succeed in the playoffs -- including against Enosburg. I believe this was far more in the spirit of America. This seems right.

Chip Porter

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