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[Susan notes: Excellent point! So-called progressives are as guilty as conservatives of leaving out the teacher.]

Published in The Nation

To the editor

Sacramento, Calif.

There is a hole in the dialogue ["Evaluating 'No Child Left Behind,'" May 21]: the voice of the classroom teacher. Any experienced classroom practitioner will tell you that if you have not worked in a public school classroom continuously during the past five years or so, it would be presumptuous to assume an understanding of the impact this law has had on practice, pedagogy and the welfare of our children. Most teachers are eager to jump into the twenty-first century, re-evaluate practice, assessment and professional development--if we can. The dictatorial mandates associated with the fear of failing APIs and AYPs have undermined the educational system. Teachers are on the front line. We have a clear view and feel the impact of inequalities, the focus on testing, the narrowed curriculum and, primarily, the effect this has on our students.

Janet Kouzel

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