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[Susan notes: It's good to hear from parents.]

Published in Mile High Newspapers
01/19/2006

To the editor


Your thoughtful editorial on the anti-CSAP campaign illuminated one of

the major problems I have with CSAP and NCLB: its mission confusion.

Instead of schools being designed to educate our children, to instill a

passion for knowing and understanding, and to empower students as part of

a functioning democracy, the NCLB/CSAP approach to education makes

students into anonymous numbers and requires standardization primarily to

prove the "achievement" of a school or system. It's the widget approach

to education.



It's true that taking individual students out of CSAP is more of a

symbolic protest than truly effective for improving educational

opportunities for those widgets that don't meet the standardized ideal.

However, I believe the Coalition for Better Education is trying not only

to educate the public (see the website: www.thecbe.org), but to empower

parents. The CBE is a place where parents, teachers, and concerned

citizens share their experiences and concerns about the "widget"

approach.



As a parent active in my students' school over the past 18 years (I have

served on many accountability committees, and thankfully my children no

longer face CSAP), I am aware that the current standardization and

accountability fads marginalize parent input and communication. The Just

Say No to CSAP campaign is a way that parents can take back

responsibility for their students' education and think about the mission

creep of the schools (and loss of our democratic principle of local

control as well). I, for one, will be writing my legislators asking that

our scarce resources be assigned to educational programs that serve

children, not systems.



Rebecka Snell Labson


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