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[Susan notes: It is always a good idea to acknowledge when a reporter does something good, and we know that Valerie Strauss's blog at The Washington Post is a beacon of hope.]

Submitted to Answer Sheet at Washington Post but not published

To the editor

Dear Valerie,

Just a word of thanks for carrying the parent letter imploring the administration to not only re-evaluate the boondoggle of "Race to the Top" but also to embrace the work of parent groups. By reading many of the comments I see the devastating effects of the long standing attacks on our public schools and the professionals in the classroom. Tragically, the common perception of our public schools system is, thanks to the media and corporate enterprise, a system in need of total transformation. Stephen Krashen, Professor Emeritus, through his research has come to the well-supported conclusion that once we control for poverty, our schools rank very well.

The issue is that in this nation of so much wealth, there is a disgraceful percentage of people living below the poverty line with all its attendant toxins. However, the power elite does not want this truth to be common knowledge - far more beneficial, they think for them, to see to the destruction of our concept of public school. See also the well-researched book by Kathy Emory and Susan Ohanian, Why is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools?

And again thank you for being such a constant voice of reason and source of hope. So many of us are grateful.

The author is president of The Coalition for Better Education, Inc.

Don Perl

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