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[Susan notes: Ned Vare rather oversimplifies the issue, but he has a point: If everybody is against the extra testing, then why ARE they suing so they will have the money for more tests.

I think he hits the nail on the head when he says the lawsuits are cynical.]

Published in New Haven Advocate

To the editor

The teachers and their unions are against the added testing called for by No Child Left Behind ["Testing, Testing," Sept. 1]. The State Department of Education, as in Betty Sternberg, is against more testing. Gov. Rell is against the added testing. It seems that everybody in the state's education establishment, plus most parents and, of course, children, are against doubling the state testing that's required by NCLB. How ironic, then, that these same state officials are suing the feds for money that will help pay for them to do the testing they claim to be against.

One fact that everyone is leaving out of this equation is that No Child Left Behind is a voluntary program. All a state or community that doesn't like the law needs to do is opt out. So far, one stateUtahhas opted out of all requirements and has rejected whatever amount of money that accompanies the law, and, in Connecticut, three towns have rejected the law and the money. If the Governor likes local controland she has said she doeshere is a good place for her to show that she means it.

It seems ridiculous, and possibly cynical, for Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to sue the federal government for money to do what no one wants to do in the first place, when the answer they all seem to want is to simply reject the law entirely for our state. If the law has provisions that some officials like, they can include those in their local programs, and administer them within their own budgets, but let's simplify our lives and opt the state out of this clumsy, unwanted law.

Ned Vare

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