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NCLB Outrages

Dear Senator . . . .

We must all write such letters.

Dear Senator Bingamon,

Thank you for including me in your mailing list.

I am a Speech-Langauge Pathologist working in an elementary school.

I am concerned about the students who drop out of high school -- as well as those who are dropping their minds out of elementary school -- long before they reach their high school years.

I hope that our country will continue to educate its young people -- but I am not so sure that keeping them in high school is such a good idea. I am not even sure that keeping them in our elementary schools, as they are presently being run, is such a great thing.

By and large, American schoolchildren, especially young males, hate the process whereby they are "educated." Our society is using an outdated factory model to teach the young minds who will shape our high-tech, post-industrial future. The curriculum and the methods used to deliver it are seriously outdated.

Educational researchers and developmental psychologists are presently discovering the natural patterns of human learning -- and they look a lot more like PLAY and time outdoors than they resemble our present form of schooling. We know the best ways for our children to learn -- ways that engage them, that literally expand their minds -- but the present administration chooses to ignore us.

It was a very sad day for the present generation of youngsters when the Draconian federal education law (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, inappropriately termed "No Child Left Behind) was passed. This is the WORST single thing that has ever happened to American Education. Education Week reported that a recent survey of 5600 educators asked the question "Is standardized testing a good measure of a school's quality?" Of 5600 educators, only 56 answered that it is. 99% of teachers KNOW that standardized testing is not a good measure of our schools.

The effect of this testing on our students? Negative. On our curriculum? Negative. On teacher morale? Negative.

If you want to decrease the number of student dropping out of school, literally at age 16 and up, or just disengaging themselves, as 6-year-olds, then you need to work on the REPEAL of that silly law with its mandated testing.

ABOLISH NCLB and the drop out rate will decline. <br>Until then? Any smart kid would leave a boring school.

Life and childhood are not for boredom.

Faced with the present joyless, test-driven, climate at ALL levels of public school even you and I would disengage.

Please work to end the testing madness that is euphemistically termed the No Child Left Behind" law.


Roberta Beckman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

— Roberta Beckman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


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