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[Susan notes: Yes! What teachers need is this "do no harm" oath. For starters, they can refer to their state codes of ethics: Join the Tell Me in Writing campaign.


Submitted to Seattle Post-Intelligencer but not published

Dear Mr. Jamieson,

To call Carl Chew arrogant or self-indulgent is insulting to teachers who object to the ridiculousness of standardized testing. If teachers took an oath as doctors do, and we promised to "do no harm" teachers everywhere would balk at the requirements of No Child Left Behind because it does tremendous harm. To dismiss Carl Chewâs courageous stand, to diminish the damage that public educators face under No Child Left Behind merely demonstrates your ignorance about the issue.

All over the nation, teachers are in the state houses objecting to the all kind of things NCLB subjects us to: punitive measures, standardized testing, impossible to reach goals. However, our voices drown in a sea of lobbyist cash from the standardized test publishers (like CTM McGraw-Hill, Pearson), and business interests who want a standardized worker delivery system.

NCLB is simply a full-frontal assault on public education in order to privatize it. In 2014 when the impossible goal of having everyone above average isnât reached, the Business Roundtable will scream at the top of its lungs, "PUBLIC EDUCATION IS A FAILURE!! WE MUST TURN EDUCATION OVER TO THE PRIVATE CORPORATIONS!!" If this is allowed to occur, the United States will turn from the Land of Opportunity, into the Land of Economic Apartheid.

I encourage you to actually read about public education, rather than chew, swallow, digest, and regurgitate the mindless mantra that passes for objective journalism regarding education. Read Jonathan Kozol. Read Susan Ohanian. Read Gerald Bracey. But read.

P.S. To make it easy for you: www.susanohanian.org; www.educatorroundtable.org; www.huffingtonpost.com (Gerald Braceyâs work can be found here).

Sean Michael Black

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