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[Susan notes: Ever notice that an educator can write a lifetime of letters to the New York Times and never get published, but politicians and corporate moguls always get their say.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re "How a Good School Can Fail on Paper," by Michael Winerip (On Education column, Oct. 8):

While the No Child Left Behind Act does require states to set and meet accountability standards for improving the academic achievement of all children, including children with disabilities, it does not label schools that are unsuccessful in meeting these goals as "failing." The law calls for extra help when such schools are identified by states, both for the schools and their students.

States are required to identify schools in which achievement gaps exist between disadvantaged students and their peers, and work with those schools to help them improve.

The achievement gaps that the law aims at are hardly "statistical hocus-pocus." For the parents of students left behind, they are evidence that more needs to be done for our children. For the first time, schools will be held accountable for the success of their most disadvantaged children, including children with disabilities.



Washington, Oct. 10, 2003

The writers are, respectively, chairman and senior Democratic member, House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

John Boehner & George Miller

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