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[Susan notes: I love the author's observation that some children are good at daydreaming. And the implied assertion that these children, too, must be valued.]

Published in Nashua Telegraph
08/02/2006

To the editor


I have serious reservations with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program enacted into law on January 2002. Many seasoned educators have expressed these same objections.



NCLB is a failure in that its fundamental premise requires that all children will be “proficient” in reading, mathematics and science by the year 2014.



This is politically correct dogma, based on absolutely no factual evidence that such objectives can be reasonably achieved.



Each child is different; each child has unique abilities. Some are good at science and math, some are good with language, some are good at carpentry, some are good with computers, some are good at fixing automobiles and some are good at daydreaming.



Education needs to promote every child to his or her ability and potential.



Failure to do so, to cast every child into the same mold, to teach each to pass the same test is doomed to fail because it goes against elemental human nature. No amount of funding will fix this. No federal force-feeding of convoluted regulations to over-extended local school officials will remedy this. It will cause resentment by those held back and frustration by those unable to pass.



Ultimately, to avoid having to declare a very large number of schools with failure to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the test will need to be so dumbed down that few students benefit.



This is becoming painfully clear, as the damage by well-meaning but misguided educrats is causing an entire generation to lose the ambition and ability to compete against tough competition in a global economy, while they indoctrinate into our children’s heads, “you will all pass, you will all succeed, not to worry, no child will be left behind.”



What a cruel fate to bestow upon our children as they graduate into the real world.



Fred Teeboom


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