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More Testing is not the Answer 

Retiring 18 years ago as a former science teacher and school librarian for 22 years, I escaped the "No Child Left Behind" education wrecker. I

Retiring 18 years ago as a former science teacher and school librarian for 22 years, I escaped the "No Child Left Behind" education wrecker. I have been around many, many, teachers every day of my wonderful career. And I am still in awe of all the talented, concerned professionals I spent 23 years with. To name a few - Jack Ensworth who embraced every child, instilling an awe and wonderment for learning and exploration of all life, human and otherwise. Clayton Smith, who in his kindly and gentleman's way inspired his students with reading, learning and calligraphy, a gift they can use forever. Cherie Crane, who gave the gifts of knowledge, art and elegance to all of her students. Florence Bradley, small but mighty in her teaching skills. And I could go on and on about all of the exceptional teaching staff here.

In today's schools, the No Child Left Behind Program can eliminate the beauty of learning with a lockstep obedient emphasis on never-ending (like the war) test-taking. A child's intuitive and sensitive appreciation of discovery and finding out can be totally crushed by testing, testing and more testing. Tests should be merely another tool in education, not the be-all and end-all of schooling! Children learn in their own way and constant testing can destroy all that is inspiring for children to learn and develop. School is not a military assembly line to enforce non-democratic authoritarian objectives such as complete obedience, and uniformity of all students and teachers.

The No Child Left Behind Program, as I see it, has covert goals designed to destroy the public school system, perhaps to direct all public education dollars into a privatized, obedience training, non-questioning military like endeavor to produce masses of obedient robots, who will not question walking off to unjust wars, or walking off a cliff, with nary a thought in their minds to question and wonder - Why? Hitler's educated, obedient, goose-stepping youngsters marched into an ugly oblivion for themselves and their victims. In Japan, many highly educated students commit suicide if they fail tests.

Proposals for merit programs based on never-ending testing should be junked. And, as I see it, the No Child Left Behind Program should have been flunked out long ago.

Alice Keiser Greth

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