[Susan notes: A letter of support from a concerned parent to Doug Christensen, Nebraska Commissioner of Education.]
"I want assessment returned to the toolbox of teachers so they can use assessments to improve practice in the classroom.”
--Doug Christensen, Nebraska Commissioner of Education
(Memorandum to All Nebraskans RE: Compliance with the Requirements of NCLB, 07-05-2006)
Dear Dr. Christensen:
You are right on track with this statement. I applaud your courage and your conviction and am grateful to you for taking a vocal stand against the oppressive and destructive policies of NCLB.
As an advocate for our public system of education and a concerned parent, I can not help but wonder why, with your careful analysis and criticisms of NCLB, you do not take the stand to opt out of compliance with the act.
It has been our experience in Maryland, with a state department of education that has been thoroughly aligned with and in compliance with the act, our classrooms, our teachers and our students have suffered. It occurs to me that in your articles, your concerns and awareness about the destructive forces of control and standardization are tuned in to the essence of the negative impact of the act.
The time has come and the opportunity exists for knowledgeable and passionate leaders and educators to resist NCLB. You can engage a powerful lobby by making the voices and passion of teachers, freed from oppression and fear, a part of your voice and message about the actual harm of compliance.
You have come this far and you are but an inch away from making a very big difference. I hope you will see this through. As a parent who believes that we can do better than the profound standardization, profit driven control of curriculum by edu-business interests, and tests-as-curriculum practices which are at the core of NCLB, I see in your words an understanding of what we are losing. I am afraid the destruction will get worse as NCLB policy infiltrates our University system.
If someone with a conscience and a vision does not speak out, release the teachers from their silent fear, and rally other states to resist, I shudder to think what future we will face. Our children deserve better, so do our teachers, so do we as a nation. I believe that you know this.
I hope you will be the light we need to turn this horrible force away and get us back to a system of public education that is about education.
My very best and many thanks,
Anne E. Levin Garrison
Advocate for the survival of public education and gardener....
Anne E. Levin Garrison