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Published in Greeley Tribune

To the editor

It is great to get letters into the local press encouraging parents to get actively involved in their children's education--and to help them find a way to start.

Testing is real impediment to education reform

NBC's weeklong focus on education called “Education Nation” could have been a worthy cause for school improvement, but it wasn't. It, as well as "Oprah" and "The View," are all on the bandwagon to heavily endorse and promote the movie "Waiting for Superman."

This very biased movie promoting charter schools would have you believe that most public schools are horrible. To a degree that may even be true, but it would be because of federal education reform that uses high-stakes testing as a stick to coerce teachers and children into compliance.

Testing is used to punish schools with sanctions that force scripted teaching upon children. Reading First curriculum kills the joy of reading in many students. Play, needed for the development of creativity and imagination, was eliminated from kindergartens even though it is crucial for proper brain development.

Improvement measures that ignore children's needs impede learning rather than enhance it and can damage students' long-term cognitive ability.

Parents need a voice in their children's education, but so far they are not listened to. They must have the tools so they can determine what quality education really is and if their child is getting it.

They especially need to hear what the real education experts have to say, but those professionals are not invited onto any panel or onto any nationally televised show.

The documentary "Race to Nowhere" at The Kress Cinema & Lounge on Thursday and Oct. 4 offers insight into what No Child Left Behind reforms and testing have done to public schools.

If you want to have a say in your child's education, join others who are currently uniting in the group "Uniting 4 Kids" on Facebook.com. I hope to see you there.

Conny Jensen

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