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NCLB Outrages

Dear Arne, Stop the testing mania. It's not working.

This is the Get Schooled blog of an Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter. It's good to see someone in the media notice--instead of just parroting what comes out of Arne's mouth.

by Maureen Downey

The bumps in the road for the Obama administration are not only in health care. With the" initiative, the White House and Ed Secretary Arne Duncan are taking their lumps.

The latest critic is author Herbert Kohl, whose book, "36 Children," has been cited by Duncan as a major influence in his life.

Now, Kohl has published an open letter to Duncan in which he says, "I'm worried about the direction you're taking education policy. In a recent interview with NEA Today, you said you read my book '36 Children' in high school and wrote an essay about it in college. The book had a big impact on me," you said, adding that it gave you 'tremendous hop'ΓΆ€™ to address the 'challenges that teachers in tough communities face.' "But I'm afraid your emphasis on testing is only going to increase those challenges, especially in tough communities."

If you have time, read Kohl's letter, in which he concludes, "It is hard for me to understand how educators can claim that they are creating high standards when learning is reduced to the mechanical task of getting a correct answer on a manufactured test."

— Maureen Downey
Atlanta Journal Constitution blog


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