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NCLB Outrages

Interview with Parent Activist

by Peter Campbell

The state of Virginia has long been in favor of high-stakes testing through its Standards of Learning (ironically referred to as "SOLs"). The state is also a Republican stronghold: the Republicans control the state House, Senate, and the Governor's Mansion. But Virginia has come out strongly against No Child Left Behind, going so far as to create legislation that would remove Virginia from participating in NCLB. Great news, right? Wrong. Very wrong.

In this interview, Mickey Vanderwerker, one of the founders of Parents Across Virginia United to Reform SOLs (PAVURSOL), tells us why. She paints a picture of what has happened in Virginia over the last several years, an eerily prescient tale of what will likely happen to the rest of the country in the next few years. Her story is both inspiring and chilling.

The web site descibes PAVURSOL as "an internet-based, growing grassroots network of over 6,000 parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens who want to ensure that the standards and assessments used with our children are educationally defensible. As parents, grandparents and supporters of school-aged children, we recognize the need for ensuring that all students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for success in school and beyond. However, we believe that our current 'one-size-fits-all' SOL system will fail to accomplish this and will hurt, not help, students, schools, and communities."

— Peter Campbell


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