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[Susan notes: Let Lisa's example inspire other teachers to speak out in the local press.]

Published in Press Democrat

To the editor

This is a letter to parents to discuss misconceptions and deceptions regarding the federal No Child Left Behind Act. First, parents should ask: do these standardized tests measure what we want our children to be? Children should learn to be literate citizens who make meaning from the world around them and contribute positively in our communities.

These tests don't even measure comprehension--the purpose of all literacy. The tests measure isolated skills and teachers are teaching to these tests at the expense of other important subjects. Literature, arts, science, social studies are all critical to developing personal meaning in a child's world and relating it to a global community.

Much of the research behind NCLB is flawed; in fact, new studies are showing a negative effect from this type of testing and the teaching that goes along with it. I am a teacher and have left the classroom to take a sabbatical to educate myself. I encourage parents to critically analyze the information being espoused as truthful and "researched." Your child is more than a test score. It is a shame we have debased the education system so much to evaluate our children in this way and use it to shape national policy.

Lisa Hanley

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