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[Susan notes: I am very happy to see The New York Times corrected in calling someone like Andrew Cuomo, as well as the dominant education model, 'progressive.' ]

Published in New York Times
01/18/2013

To the editor

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in his State of the State address, included longer school days as part of his "progressive" agenda ( Cuomo Calls for the State to Return to Its Progressive Ideals, news article, Jan. 10).

I believe that the progressive label is inappropriate here. I, like most child-centered educators I know, stand left-of-center on most political issues, but we oppose extended time in school if, as seems likely, it will mean more of the same test-driven, highly structured education so dominant today. This education severely restricts free play, creative projects and other activities that enable children to use their imaginations and pursue their unique interests.

Today's dominant educational model is better suited to an authoritarian regime than the free democracy that progressives advocate.

The writer is a professor of psychology at City College and the author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society.

William Crain


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