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[Susan notes: Ken's letter presents lots of facts, facts ignored by editorialists at USA Today.]

Published in USA Today

To the editor

USA TODAY seemed to counsel John Kerry to endorse the Bush administration's mean-spirited enforcement of the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. This is very bad advice.

So far, this law has succeeded only in driving large numbers of students and some of the nation's best teachers out of public schools.

''The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act is a clever long-range political ploy to discredit public education by branding good schools as 'failures' and to drive American education toward vouchers, charter schools -- and even resegregation.'' That's not my view. That's the conclusion reached by a coalition of the leaders of groups representing Massachusetts' school committees, teachers unions, superintendents and administrators, according to The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass.

GOP governors in Utah and Vermont and Maine's Democratic governor have signed bills condemning the law. Districts across the country are rejecting the pittance of financial aid that the law provides and the strings that come with it. Many schools that meet or exceed state standards are being called failing by ideologues in Washington.

Right now, thousands of schools are being told they're failing, and millions of parents are outraged. If the Democrats don't offer an alternative view to the Republicans, it will be more than a few million teachers who turn on both parties and demand changes.

Ken Goodman

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