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[Susan notes: People work for a lifetime trying to get a letter into the New York Times. They'll print Rod Paige--and other politicians--every time they open their mouths to whine.]

Published in

To the editor

Sadly, "Bait-and-Switch on Public Education" (editorial, Oct. 21) reduces what should be a politically transcendent issue properly educating all of America's children into cynical political musings.

Before President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, poor children could count on two things: lofty rhetoric and no significant change to their educational prospects. This administration seeks to empower parents and improve the lives and the futures of every American child by providing common-sense educational reform, accountability and choice.

In the past, a lot of lip service has been given to closing the achievement gap the law's central tenet but now the framework is set for real reform to finally happen.

Education, quite simply, should not fall prey to the traditional vitriol of Washington politics. We all need to work together to eliminate the socioeconomic yoke that the persistent achievement gap places around the neck of poor children.

Rod Paige

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