Re "Hard knocks," editorial, March 28
The Times can serve its readers and the nation by publishing the facts of the portion of the federal budget spent for public education by history's richest, most technologically advanced and powerful nation -- mired in the corporate-dominated marriage of imperial military wars and class warfare -- compared to that of nations with superior education.
NICHOLAS V. SEIDITA
The Times suggests that each student's progress should be evaluated individually. This concept helps perpetuate social promotion -- the single most damaging addiction ever to worm itself into the educational system.
It's tough enough to evaluate whether students have met the level required to be promoted, let alone decide if they have made sufficient "yearly improvement." A child should start at the grade appropriate to his or her academic level, regardless of age or special needs, and if he or she successfully completes the studies, as demonstrated on well-designed tests, then the student should be promoted and the school and teachers should receive well-deserved credit.
DAVID R. SIGURDSON
The biggest problem with No Child Left Behind is that it is bad science. Every year we compare apples to oranges. The seventh-graders in my class this year will take math and English tests that will be compared to the scores of last year's seventh-graders. The only way to measure true growth is to compare students' new scores to their scores from the previous grade. Then we would have a better indication of how we are performing as a school and how I am performing as a teacher.
The writer is a teacher at South Junior High School.