Citizen Participation Crucial to School Policy

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To the Editor:

Everyone is accountable for educational success. The No Child Left Behind Act created sweeping testing mandates that have benefited a handful of educators acting in self-interest, politicians, and publishing concerns.

There seemed to be little resistance to NCLB when disadvantaged students appeared to be the only ones failing. Then, advantaged students and districts couldn't meet the standards. Alternative evaluations and their ilk grew from trickle to torrent as all concerned tried to ensure their students' high school graduation.

Money continues to be the name of the educational game, though I would argue that no educational system controlled by finances delivers high-quality education. District leaders have turned themselves inside out, forced their staffs into compliance, and espoused unethical practices such as teaching to the test for funding and to avoid so-called "failure."

When there is honest, open, well-attended dialogue from local communities to statehouses about student placement, support, equitable funding, and entities that are profiting monetarily and professionally from educational policies, we as citizens are better able to make needed change and embark upon meaningful progress in educating our students—ensuring our future. No quick fixes will succeed.

We are all vested in worthwhile educational reform. No one is to blame but us if we are dissatisfied with the outcomes.

Jane E. Lotz-Drlik
Yakima, Wash.

The writer has worked in education for 30 years, including as a teacher and administrator.

Vol. 33, Issue 02, Page 28

Published in Print: August 28, 2013, as Citizen Participation Crucial to School Policy
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