Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[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

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

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.