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A Platitude Shouldn't Cover for Bad Attitude

June 30, 2002

In "Politically Speaking, It's Greasy Kid Stuff" (Commentary, June 26), Crispin Sartwell claims that "no one could possibly disagree with the sentiment" of the phrase, "No child left behind." I disagree. Public schools need to have and use the authority to leave behind any and all students who disrupt the education of others.

Where such disruptive students abound, no child advances. It's great if an educational boot camp or some other specialized program is available, but if not, the troublemakers must nevertheless be removed. It is immoral to sacrifice the education of the other children in a vain attempt to save these disruptive kids from themselves.

Keith Jarett

Lafayette, Calif.

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Bravo to Sartwell for effectively nailing those who parrot a dangerous and senseless platitude to cover for our scandalous failures in education--and us, for so eagerly swallowing their bait. Interesting that he writes from an art school. Could it possibly be that our creative minds speak more wisely, more truthfully and more courageously than all our mendacious leaders and would-be leaders do?

Peter Clothier

Los Angeles

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