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[Susan notes: Showing she is her brother's keeper, Theresa cites what happened to the WOO 522 in responding to a letter writer's canned praise of the standards and testing of NCLB.]

Published in Tuscaloosa News
01/21/2004

To the editor



In his letter to the editor [1/19/04], James Michel Thomas parrots the Bush administration line on the No Child Left Behind Act without any regard for the truth about what’s going on inside schools. As a parent and school volunteer, I’ve seen up close the harm being done by this ill-conceived legislation.



Maybe he hasn’t been in a classroom himself, but if Mr. Thomas had read the newspaper lately, he might have heard about the corruption and callousness at the heart of the “Texas Miracle" that President Bush and his Education Secretary Rod Paige like to brag about.



Closer to home, he might have noticed the 522 Birmingham 16-year-olds pushed out of their high school just after being counted for school funding but just before their presence could bring down the school’s test scores.



Thomas’s letter is a sad illustration of the kind of education this president seeks to impose upon those of us who can’t afford to send our kids to private schools. Teachers read from scripts dictated by the federal government, and Mr. Thomas calls it “local control." Is our president providing “courageous leadership?" Must be, because it says so on this press release.



Here is the letter Theresa was responding to

Bush is leaving no child behind

January 19, 2004



Dear Editor:

President Bush’s leadership has improved education in America. His No Child Left Behind Act helps kids learn and puts parents back in the drivers’ seat when it comes to their children’s education. The No Child Left Behind Act sets high standards for student performance and provides the resources needed to meet them. Under Bush’s leadership, federal funding for education increased 59.8 percent from 2000 to 2003. A large portion of that money goes toward helping high-poverty schools. The funds also go toward efforts to retain high-quality teachers. Local control is another crucial aspect of education reform. The No Child Left Behind Act trusts parents and local school officials to direct resources where they will do the most good for students. The law gives parents the right to transfer their kids out of failing or unsafe schools. This issue is just one more example of how our president is providing the courageous leadership America needs.



James Michel Thomas

Birmingham

Theresa Pappas


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