“School Beat”

by on March 31, 2006


(Re: “School Beat …”, March 30th)

The shortcomings some claim to find with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law points up one central truth about education reform: some states and most especially the teachers’ unions wish we would all forget about the education reforms, accountability and choice built into NCLB. Accountability, soberly applied, now threatens to finally move reform beyond the mere intent phase; parental choice, as unions fear, could lead to a winnowing of public school staffers nationwide including districts where teachers are forced to join unions and pay dues.

But education isn’t about avoiding reform or maximizing union revenues, it’s about kids. And parents across the country are deeply troubled by failing public schools and their often ineffective discipline, irrelevant curricula and recycled excuses for failure.

If anything, the reach of No Child Left Behind should be broadened to include all K-12 schooling using tax dollars, and strictly applied to hurry reform and open education to greater choice, including more charter schools. For in the end, it will be parents themselves who lead the way in holding out for better schools and voting with their feet if regular public schools still fail to deliver.

Ron Goodden,
Smyrna, GA

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