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[Susan notes: Kudos to Don Perl for responding to the dreadful feature article in TIME Magazine titled How to Fix No Child Left Behind.

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Submitted to Time Magazine but not published
05/27/2007

To the editor





Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe, in their article, "How to Fix No Child Left Behind," have done nothing to expose the corruption and avarice underlying the NCLB legislation. Instead they have merely furthered the tradition of devaluating those professional educators called to teach in our nation's public schools.



The piece starts with a recounting of the pep-rally like atmosphere generated at the high-stakes altar. The authors also mention David Berliner's co-authored latest book, Collateral Damage, but only in the narrow context of schools cheating on tests. No mention is made of an earlier work, co-authored by Berliner and Bruce Biddle, The Manufactured Crisis which exposes the motives of profiteering and power-mongering advanced by blaming public education, and teachers, for society's ills.



No meaningful mention is made of the enormous role socio-economic status plays in test results, nor that we can fairly accurately predict test scores by students' zip codes. Nor is any mention made of the phenomenon of white flight caused by obsessively reducing our children to scores on a grid - a trend clearly noted by Jonathan Kozol in his work, The Shame of the Nation.



Nor, and perhaps most glaring, is any mention made of the myriad, often mind-boggling ways children have of learning, and the importance of recognizing and developing their unique talents - this the critical role of good teachers everywhere. When future chapters are written about the decline and demise of public education, and consequently our democracy, will you be willing to examine your unwillingness to write the truth, or will you content yourselves in blaming public education for your own irresponsibility?



Respectfully submitted,

Don Perl


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