Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Teach youth how to think, not how to take tests

In response to the July 13 editorial "Don't Leave 'No Child' Act Behind": Whatever good comes from the No Child Left Behind Act, when it results in my son's teachers all saying that their goal is "to make sure your child passes the end-of-grade tests," the act is not working.

The goal of public education in the US must not be to pass tests.

The goal must be to teach children how to think, read, write, do math, and to appreciate history, science, the arts, and language skills. They should gain workplace skills and a love of learning.

The act's good intentions are not enough. NCLB has gotten lost in testing. It needs to be done away with and a fresh start made with a "no test" rule.

Measurements are good, but not as goals. Measure graduation rates, measure college acceptances, measure local employer satisfaction with graduates, watch SAT scores if you must, but don't build a house of tests.Jack Dearing Matthews, N.C.

The No Child Left Behind Act begets "one-size fits all" and "throw money at it" solutions to our nation's problems with educating our youth. With its inflexible standards, NCLB fails to address differences.

Our society includes immigrants from all over the world - with diverse languages, dialects, backgrounds, values, and ethics. Some communities have children speaking languages from several ethnic backgrounds.

Some families are burdened with unemployment, partial employment, seasonal employment, or with a situation in which both parents need to work and aren't home for the children.

The NCLB demands that teachers teach for the tests - which means no creative teaching.

Yes, there is a teacher shortage. Under this regimen, talented teachers get discouraged.

Most teachers I know teach because they love the children. It is hard, often grueling, and challenging work, yet most satisfying.

We need to ask ourselves why the private and charter school numbers keep growing. Pat Kurtz Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Kids don't have access to M-rated games

Regarding the July 18 article, "What lurks inside video games": If a child - someone below the age of 17 - has a copy of "Grand Theft Auto" or any M-rated game, someone over 17 got it for him or her. …

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