"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, December 8, 2006

Letter to the Senator...

Here's a letter I sent to Senator Kennedy...

Senator,

I have always been a staunch supporter of your policies for those who are less fortunate. I became a teacher in order to help children meet the challenges they face no matter what personal obstacles they encounter.

I am a reading specialist in my 31st year of teaching. Over the years I think that I have learned a few things about how children learn and about how public schools function.

I am writing to you to urge you to help dismantle the No Child Left Behind Act. I understand your reasons for sponsoring that bill, and I agree with them, however, in practice, more children have been left behind than before. The law has had just the opposite effect that it was intended to have.

Children in the poorest schools in America have been subjected to the worst sort of teaching available because of NCLB. We had difficulty finding good people to staff inner city schools in the past, but this has made it worse. The schools in which the majority of poor students attend have now become test prep centers and so much of education of the entire child has been lost.

Special ed students, who are not able to function at the same level as their peers are now, in many cases, being required to achieve at the same level and, of course, fail. Schools have been labeled failures because they have not been able to "cure" these students of their disabilities and the students are hurt the most.

The bill was not funded properly. If we had funded it at the same level as the War in Iraq it might have been able to help some students, but as it is, it is causing school systems to cut programs for the neediest students in order to pay for more testing.

I know you have invested yourself into this law, but it is time to step back and take an objective look. I have signed a petition at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?1teacher

and urge you to look at the comments made by some of the signers.

It's time to take the public schools back from the testing companies and give them back to the children and the teachers who staff them.

Please rectify the terrible wrong that this bill has placed upon the public schools of the United States and upon its children.

Thank you.

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