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Time

30 May 2007

So I haven’t been writing to Time every week, but I am trying to write frequently. So here is this weeks letter.

Dear Editor:

Concerning the article “How to Fix No Child Left Behind,” I
praise Wallis and Steptoe for finding the positive attribute of NCLB,
which is the spotlight the law has put on the discrepancies in
learning that still exist between social class and race in our
country. It is my hope that we are on our way to mending these flaws.
However, Wallis and Steptoe could have put a more effort into
delving into the deep hurt that this law is putting on actual learning
in this country. Doing well on an exam in no way reflects how well
students comprehend and retain material. The reasons students are
doing well on the tests are largely due to these drill sessions like
the “Super Saturdays” mentioned in the article. Rote memorization and
cramming are poor substitutes for comprehension. With every year that
we descend into NCLB, teachers are forced to include additional
material into the already loaded school year, which leads to coverage
and a mere survey of the subject matter, not depth.
Finally, until the United States as a whole values education we
will be stunted in the gains we could make regardless of what law is
currently governing education. An educational institution, no matter
how effective can ever replace the qualities instilled in children at
home.

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