[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen shows where educator attention should be focused: The alarming Obama/Duncan policy, NCLB on steroids.]
Published in The Hill
To the editor
Education Secretary Duncan thinks that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is "too punitive, too prescriptive, it's led to a dumbing down of standards, and it's led to a narrowing of curriculum." (Interview with Duncan: Education secretary: 'No Child Left Behind' has led to a 'dumbing down', 1/28.)
In other words, everything that goes on in classes will be constantly tested by outside federal tests, a narrower and more prescriptive approach than has ever been used in the history of education.
This is an astonishing development, increasing testing and outside control far beyond the already excessive level demanded by NCLB. It is also a waste of money: There is no evidence that increasing testing increases learning.
Duncan's approach is not a change of direction. As Leonie Haimson recently commented on twitter, it is NCLB on steroids.
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