Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: This letter writer asks important questions.

I would add just one: When are the policy makers going to start listening to parents?]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published
10/10/2002

To the editor

I had one of those "aha" moments, when reading Jay Matthews' column – “Entrepreneurs Grab the Chance to Build Careers, Help Schools” (Oct. 8, 2002).

Now I know who the No Child Left Behind Act is supposed to help.

Though young entrepreneurs with limited education expertise are cashing in on this misguided legislation based on joyless state standards and high-stakes testing, our children's lives are unlikely to be so enriched.

Only when we stop treating America's public school children as products on an assembly line, to be tracked for quality control purposes like so many widgets, will we improve public education. Education is a gloriously messy business and should stay that way.

Our children come into this world magnificently unique - with awesome built-in arrays of strengths, weakness, passions and aversions. They all learn in different ways and on their own timetables. When are our political leaders going to have their "aha" moments? When are they going to realize that our children are not the products of public education - but are the customers of public education? When are they going to acknowledge and rejoice in the fact (as parents and teachers do) that our kids don't come standard?

-- Lusby, MD

Sue Allison


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.