Sent to the NY Times, Jan 31, 2010
One article in the Times described the profound problems children are facing in school because of the economy ("Teacher, My Dad Lost his Job. Do We Have to Move?" 1/31). Another described the conflict over whether beginning teachers will be fired when New York cuts the education budget ("Bloomberg Presses Cuomo on Teacher Seniority Rule," 1/31). Articles also appear regularly about cutbacks in public and school libraries.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Education is spending huge sums for increasing testing far beyond the already unacceptable amount done under No Child Left Behind. According to the department's Blueprint, as well as speeches by Arne Duncan, they are planning pre- and post-tests to measure gains during the year, interim tests during the year, and are encouraging testing all subjects, not just reading and math.
The Department of Education clearly thinks that weighing the animal more frequently is more important than feeding it.