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[Susan notes: What a great buildup to the punchline!]

Published in Education Week
12/06/2006

To the editor

Regarding "Early-Childhood Issues Raised for NCLB

Law"?(Nov. 15, 2006):

The federal No Child Left Behind Act has poisoned

schools with inappropriate and excessive testing,

reduced reading instruction to mindless

phonemic-awareness and phonics exercises, and

encouraged the elimination of in-school free reading.



In the view of many scholars, research evidence did

not support these moves, and, contrary to U.S.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ claims,

there is no evidence that the law has resulted in any

improvement in student progress, or in any “closing of

the gap” between children from low- and high-income

families. (For further information see Gerald W.

Bracey’s “The 16th Bracey Report on the Condition of

Public Education” in the October 2006 Phi Delta

Kappan, and my paper, “Did Reading First Work?,”

posted on www.districtadministration.com/pulse.)



In addition, the U.S. Department of Education’s

inspector general recently issued a report on apparent

conflicts of interest in the administration of Reading

First grants. It detailed how certain reading methods

and approaches were favored while others were shut out

("Scathing Report Casts Cloud Over ‘Reading First’,"

Oct. 4, 2006).



According to your Nov. 15 article, the Bush

administration now wants to expand the No Child Left

Behind law’s requirements to high school, and there is

even discussion of expanding them down to preschool.



With all the talk about making schools and teachers

accountable, why isn’t there any talk of making NCLB

accountable?



Stephen Krashen


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