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NCLB Outrages

Putting Children Ahead of 'No Child'

Comments from Annie: Here is the letter we tried to post just before the website malfunctioned.

In response to the outrageous comments from DOEĆ¢€™s Spellings to VirginiaĆ¢€™s school system, Dr. Houston spoke out in support of teachers and teaching.

Refreshing, huh?

Putting Children Ahead of 'No Child'

The following letter to the editor from AASA Executive Director Paul D. Houston was published in the Washington Post on Feb. 6, 2007:

Regarding the Feb. 1 Metro article "Va. Is Urged to Obey 'No Child' on Reading Test" and the Jan. 30 editorial "Left Behind":

The No Child Left Behind Act is illustrative of what happens when those who know little about a topic create rules and regulations for those who must do the work. The educational amateurs on Capitol Hill and the bureaucrats at the Education Department created a law that, whatever their intentions, has proved to be unworkable at the classroom level on nearly every front.

The assumption that schools were not addressing issues related to learners with limited English skills before No Child Left Behind is as insulting as it is wrong. Educators have faced waves of immigrant children, from many countries and circumstances, and they have created programs to help assimilate those children into American culture. Forcing such students to take tests that do not measure what they know or that overlook their English-language development is illogical and impairs the progress that everyone wants.

Fairfax County and the other districts in Virginia have not given the law no "regard," as the editorial stated. They have been facing the challenges with determination and dedication as to what is best for children.

Paul D. Houston
Executive Director
American Association of School Administrators
Arlington, VA

— Paul Houston
Washington Post


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