"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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Deception at School

The Daytona Beach News-Journal Online.com ran an editorial about the failure of the Florida state standardized testing program, FCAT (Florida's version of ISTEP) titled, Let FCAT drop out: A decade's testing hasn't improved Florida's grad rate

Here's a response...

Letters to the editor for June 23, 2009

Deception at school

Some are content to just suggest the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test needs to end. The Daytona Beach News-Journal offers statistics and results that illustrate the costliness and lack of overall positive benefits that the FCAT, imposed by former education reform governor Jeb Bush nearly 10 years ago, has achieved.

The goal of this mock diagnostic achievement test has been to dramatize the "failure" of many schools. And ultimately to use the sanctions of the federal No Child Left Behind act to close those schools and offer alternatives that usher in an education system that deviates from traditional public schools.

Often cited for the failures of these schools has been the quality of teachers, as if the teachers were the cause of the failures. In reality, the FCAT has caused many quality teachers to abandon their jobs in the face of such false accusation.

High quality teachers have seen their traditional roles, as developers of individual potentials, be transformed into trainers who repetitiously pound required FCAT information into the memories of their students in order to make the "A."

Long before the existence of the FCAT and the NCLB, the results of education research revealed the most prominent cause of low performance in public school to be poverty. Those who have worked hard to convince the public that public school teachers were the reason nonwhite students generally performed more poorly than their white peers wanted to avoid the truth. In this way they would not have to invest public tax money in solving the real problems that the deprivations of poverty cause. The public has nearly bought their charade.

The News-Journal is keeping the deception in the news. It knows the importance of traditional public education's role in preserving true democracy.

BILL ARCHER, Daytona Beach

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No Child Left Behind is leaving thousands of children behind!
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