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[Susan notes: Kudos to the writer for cutting through the corporate-politico smokescreen and laying out the cynicism for all to see, with a quotable line that updates the "weigh the pig" spoof that circulated years ago to boot: We will never close the achievement gap if all we do is measure it.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

No Cynic Left Behind

Re âU.S. Eases âNo Childâ Law as Applied to Some Statesâ (news article, March 19):

It appears that the United States Department of Education is trying to appease critics of the No Child Left Behind law by giving some wiggle room to states in identifying what it means to be a failing school.

If one were cynical, it might be possible to see this as a bribe to quiet some vocal critics of the law â residents of more affluent communities where the thought of a failing school in their midst would be viewed as a social and economic disaster.

However, the real problem with the law is its obsession with preparing students for tests, testing them and then agonizing over the test results. We will never close the achievement gap if all we do is measure it.

The writer is director of the New Teacher Residency Program at Mercy College.

Howard Miller

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