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[Susan notes: Thanks to Lisa for reminding people that NCLB relies totally on standardized tests, which results in a test prep curriculum that cheats kids.]

Published in Boston Globe
08/04/2004

To the editor



Ed Moscovitch is correct to highlight problems with No Child Left Behind's mechanics and recklessly punitive approach to education reform

("Democrats ignore education reform," August 2). It is true that NCLB does little to increase the capacity of struggling schools to make sustained improvements for children. But he overlooks a fundamental flaw in NCLB's approach, the near-total reliance on standardized test scores

to assess schools and hold them accountable. The result of such over-reliance on testing is increasing pressure to teach to these tests

and a narrowing of our children's education to test preparation in math and English.



Public opinion polls show most parents want more for their children. The federal government would do better to turn away from NCLB's narrow

test-and-punish approach and encourage the use of multiple ways to assess students and schools. This would in turn give us better information about our children and their schools and reduce the pressure to teach to the test. Then we might begin working toward giving all our children the education they deserve.







Lisa Guisbond


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