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[Susan notes: Here's a technique: address politicians directly.]

Published in Orlando Sentinel

Governor Bush, You Insult Teachers

Yet again, Governor Bush, my intelligence as an educational professional has been insulted. In your letter to the Orlando Sentinel dated Saturday, April 20, you stated that "without the FCAT test, we wouldn't know which students are struggling or be able to assess or debate performance." Quite the contrary Governor...

As a kindergarten teacher for 31 years, I have been able to identify my "struggling" students from the moment they enter my classroom. More importantly, I have been able to identify and
ifocus upon their strengths.

From that first day forward, I work diligently on what I know will most benefit not only my "struggling" students, but each and every one of the students placed in my charge for that school year. Keen attention is given to weaknesses, but primary focus is placed upon strengths. The result is a beautifully rich and risk-free learning environment.

Believe it or not, my students leave my classroom each year with a passionate love of school, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and yes, many are even able to read! Not only that, I am able to assess and debate the performance of each and every child in my class even without a test score...imagine that!

Every day in classrooms all around the state of Florida, teachers go far beyond the point of identifying "struggling" students, and believe me, it's not as a result of one ridiculous FCAT score.

Laurin MacLeish

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