Letters to the Editor

No education expert left behind, either

In response to "Good deeds punished at schools" (March 12, Letters): Many of us see the No Child Left Behind Act as a gigantic waste of time and money.

These teams of "experts," coming from companies that have sprouted up overnight, are gobbling up billions of dollars of the budget. These "experts" have educators running around in circles like dogs chasing their own tails as they are inundated with "new" methods that have been around longer than many of them have been alive. If you want to see a teacher cringe, start any conversation with the phrase "recent studies show ..."

Textbook companies are cashing in big time with new books that focus on "essential" (read: test questions) knowledge rather than "what's nice to know" (read: well-rounded education). History texts are getting noticeably thinner as they leave out or give short shrift to major historical events and characters simply because they do not appear as test questions.

NCLB is a major boondoggle for education and a financial windfall for special interests. Dan Walters got it right ("Reform would be better for state schools than more money," March 12, Page B-7) when he stated that nothing will change until the issues of "poverty, peer and familial pressure, and cultural values" are addressed.

JOHN McGRATH

Modesto

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