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[Susan notes: It is nice to be able to praise something appearing in the popular press.]

Published in Rutland Herald

To the editor

Opportunity Missed by Steven Gross (Feb. 15, 2012) provides the only approach to education reform that will work. Making sure schools are connected to a safety net for Vermont’s schoolchildren and their families must be our first priority. The money we spend on federally-required standardized testing, which Gross rightly labels “outdated management,” is a waste.

Worse, its overweening intrusion into classroom practice erodes the very values Vermonters embrace.

We don’t need oppressive testing required by the federal government to show us that children in affluent areas score better than children in areas afflicted by poverty. We must reject the strategy developed by the Business Roundtable in the late 1980s of tarring public schools and begin to work on what we do best — protecting our children. All our children.

Steven Gross is right on target in pointing out that the place to start is that safety net.

Susan Ohanian

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