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[Susan notes: 3 cheers. Steve Krashen points out that funding education and funding NCLB are two different kettle of fish.]

Submitted to Mother Jones but not published

To the editor

Unfund NCLB

We should be very upset about the Bush

administration's cuts in education ("Class dismissed," May/June 2004), but we should not be upset that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is underfunded. It should never have been funded at all.

Nobody in education is opposed to assessment, but the NCLB demands testing that is inappropriate and

excessive. As Alfie Kohn as pointed out, the NCLB has turned our schools into test-preparation centers.

Polls show that 75% of principals oppose the NCLB

testing requirements, and, when informed about the

details, most parents also oppose it (see


Most experts in the field of reading education agree that basic phonics can be helpful, but the NCLB demands an extreme approach that requires lock-step teaching of all known rules of phonics in a strict order for all students. This "systematic intensive" approach is in conflict with the conclusions of a number of highly respected research scientists as well

as the experience of a vast number of teachers.

NCLB policies are highly beneficial for publishers of workbooks and tests, but they do not serve the interests of children.

Stephen Krashen

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