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[Susan notes: The newspaper edited this letter for publication. ]

Published in Detroit News
05/10/2005

To the editor

Recent news that a number of school districts across the country, including Pontiac, have requested injunctive relief against the No Child Left Behind Act is long overdue.



I am reminded of the advice given by a lawyer a few years ago to a group of citizens who opposed the closing of a small inner city school. Thereís no legal recourse against a decision that does not make sense, but there is recourse against an illegal decision.



NCLB does not make sense. It diverts resources from education to excessive testing. When a school is labeled as "failing," resources are diverted from education to transportation of students to other schools. This is contrary to research indicating that children, especially economically disadvantaged children, have better educational outcomes in small neighborhood schools.



Case studies have shown decreases in student achievement when children are transferred from allegedly underperforming schools to so-called "choice" schools. Perhaps this is why less than one percent of children eligible for such transfers in Michigan last year actually did transfer.



For the federal government to enact such senseless legislation is sad and damaging to the education of our nationís children. Without sufficient funding, the act requires an unfunded mandate, making it illegal.



Praise to the Pontiac School District for standing up for children across America!

Michael Misovich


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