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Submitted to Language Magazine but not published
02/17/2004

To the editor





In a recent editorial, ("Leave your wallet behind," January 2004), Language Magazine executive editor Daniel Ward noted that according to a recent study 75% of principals did not agree with the testing provisions of NCLB (No Child Left Behind). A poll of 699 parents done by Results for America (available on resultsforamerica) shows that parents are not

enthusiastic either.



Of the 78% of parents polled who had heard of NCLB,69% said they supported it, but closer questioning revealed much less agreement with important aspects: Of those who said they supported NCLB, only 59% said they agreed with the idea of high stakes testing and

only 19% "strongly" supported it. When asked if

federal funds should be withheld from their own child's school if it failed to meet federal standards, over 70% said no, regardless of whether or not they supported NCLB. When asked about the most appropriate role of the federal government in education, only 13% felt that "it should only give funds to local school districts that meet federal government standards."



There was, as Results for America phrased it, support for the idea of NCLB, but much less support for the specific components of the plan. Apparently, few supporters knew what they were supporting,



What does this mean? Principals, professional

educators who deal with the realities of school every day, do not approve of the stringent testing

requirements and punitive nature of NCLB. Parents,

when they informed about these details, also disagree with them. These are the groups who should be in control of education.









Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor, USC


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