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Education: One Standard Won't Fit

September 19, 2002

Creating impossible standards and punishments for not achieving them brings the obvious manipulation of the interpretation of the "No Child Left Behind" law ("School Standards Paradox," editorial, Sept. 15). As a retired educator, I think the title of that impossible-to-satisfy law tells it all. There are so many variables in a child's life that cannot be legislated that it becomes a ridiculous joke to impose a standard that includes everyone.

Children are not widgets. They and their schools cannot be forced into a one-size-fits-all conformity. Your claim that educators must "stop using student poverty and other social ills as an excuse" continues the misguided notion that somehow the schools can overcome overwhelming odds if they just get the right textbooks and tests, and if teachers would only do their jobs. Let's focus on and promote realistic goals that reflect regional, social and economic differences. The flap about dress codes on the same page (letters) illustrates how far from center stage the true issues in education are.

Marty Wilson

Whittier

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