In Defense of Our Children: When Politics, Profit, and Education
Letter to the Editor
The New York Times
March 5, 2004
To the Editor:
"Rescuing Education Reform" (editorial, March 2) is partly
right: we must not allow partisan positioning to destroy the chance
offered by the No Child Left Behind Act to end substandard education
for poor and minority children.
But the law needs more than "tinkering here and there."
While requiring high standards, regular testing and the public reporting
of test results by student subgroups is sound, the act's entire
remedial approach needs to be changed.
Instead of sanctions for failing to meet "adequate yearly
progress," we need to get states and localities focused on
expanding the capacity of teachers to teach, administrators to lead
school improvement and parents to support high-level learning.
Otherwise, what happens in classrooms and at home will not significantly
improve, and we will continue to fail the children who need our
GARY M. RATNER
Bethesda, Md., March 2, 2004
The writer is executive
director of Citizens for Effective Schools.