Re "State Keeps Education Standards," Jan. 9: In my opinion as a high school teacher, the goal of the No Child Left Behind federal education act, to bring 100% of public school children to academic proficiency, is plainly unrealistic. This goal not only ignores the unwieldy and needlessly complex California state content standards but naively underestimates the countervailing effects of economic, social, cultural, linguistic and historical variables, not to mention a more or less constant percentage of adolescent, surly indifference to academic culture itself. (Did I mention I teach high school?)
Comparably, could one expect the federal government to ever realize a "no citizen left behind" goal to bring 100% of U.S. citizens above the poverty line? A good idea and a noble goal, but I don't think that will happen either.