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

Published in Washington Post
07/14/2007

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


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