To the Editor:
Bravo to Elaine M. Garan for so clearly revealing the inequities in the No Child Left Behind Act in her Nov. 9, 2005, Commentary, “Will Katrina Topple the No Child Left Behind Law?”
I was teaching in a Los Angeles magnet secondary school during the riots following the verdict in the Rodney King-beating trial in late April of 1992. It was a disastrous time for all living there, but the events hit inner-city students taking Advanced Placement courses particularly hard. During the crucial week prior to AP testing, our students were on the streets, helping protect family homes and businesses from looting and fires. They not only lost the entire week of reviewing and practice testing, but also returned to school traumatized by what was occurring in their city and their lives. To my knowledge, the College Board made no adjustments for these students.
Standardized testing falsely assumes a level playing field for all who participate. The No Child Left Behind law is a faith-based attempt to legislate standardized students; it punishes children, teachers, and entire schools for uniqueness and for failure to comply with its rigid, unrealistic rules.
Betty Raskoff Kazmin
The writer is a retired Los Angeles teacher and a former Willard, Ohio, school board member.