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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen makes an important point. All the flap over Paige condemning NEA doesn't make them heroes: They are, after all, only arguing about the money in NCLB--when money is the least of the Act's problems]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published
02/24/2004

To the editor



Sec. Paige apologized for calling the Natational

Education Association a terrorist group, but still

feels that they are obstructionist because of their objections to No Child Left Behind ("Paige calls NEA 'a terrorist group,'" Feb. 24). I am also critical of the NEA's position on NCLB: Their criticisms don't go deep enough.



The NEA feels that "schools and students should not be judged solely on reading and math test scores," teachers should not have to pay for supplementary training required by the law, NCLB is underfunded, and does not reach enough students. I don't think the federal government should be judging schools at all, teachers should not have to get the kind of "training" that NCLB entails, I am relieved that NCLB is underfunded, and that it does not reach all students.



NCLB's real flaws have been ignored: While all

educators agree that assessment is necessary and

important, recent surveys show that a significant

percentage of school administrators and parents agree that NCLB imposes excessive and unnecessary testing on children. All reading specialists agree that teaching basic phonics is helpful, but NCLB imposes far more phonics teaching than research and common sense support. NCLB does nothing to provide real help for children. The only group that appears to be profiting from NCLB is the testing and textbook publishing

industry.





Stephen Krashen


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