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[Susan notes: The author makes excellent points on the distinctions between following the state and district guidelines for test prep and cheating.]

Published in Oklahoma Observer

To the editor

This is in response to the Texas cheating headlines.

*Note how 'teacher cheating' is their first thought. It doesn't take a rocket scientist...but it does take an educator working within the framework of the NCLB train wreck to see the obvious. Higher scores will be produced when teachers teach to the test. Isn't that the job they are asking educators to do?

The state provides you with the number of questions on the test, the percent of questions in each category of testing and the weight each test question will have on the overall score. Any teacher can figure out if they teach to the test and do their 'job' to raise test scores...the students scores will go up. The real question is how many teachers are willing to cut out half of what they consider in their professional opinion to be a well rounded education for the sake of 'training' a student to pass a test? Training and educating are two different things. A tree can be trained by binding its limbs and forcing growth in a particular direction. Shall we treat our children like they are Bonsai's and punish the artist who created the sculpture? It's a sad day in American education when our teachers and children are bound to this run away train wreck called No Child Left Behind.

DeAnn Deason, Oklahoma educator

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