Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Kudos to the writer for pointing out that NCLB was based on a false premise.]

Published in Washington Post

To the editor

Education: If It Ain't Broke . . .

The first sentence of the July 2 editorial "No Child in the Crosshairs" was spot on: "No one in his right mind would demolish his home because it had a leaky basement or it needed new carpeting."

However, the editorial went on to apply that reasoning to the No Child Left Behind Act instead of to public education. NCLB was based on the false premise that the entire public education system was broken and therefore needed to be brought to heel. When one starts from a false premise, one eventually reaches a false conclusion.

There are some parts of the educational system that are in need of improvement, but NCLB guidelines require a district to be placed on a watch list if only one segment of its student body fails to make adequate yearly progress. Instead of identifying those students most in need of help, the entire district is placed under a cloud.

Let's provide the funds to fix public education's leaky basements (apparently the District has, literally, lots of those) and stop demolishing the nation's public education system, which is overwhelmingly doing a good job.

The writer is a candidate for the Waynesboro PA Area School Board.

Pat Heefner

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.