Letters to the Editor

Joy of learning

Eddie Jimenez was only partially right in his column (Jan. 26) on the test frenzy that has a stranglehold on America's public schools. The accountability movement -- driven by the flawed and failing No Child Left Behind legislation and the well-meaning, but misguided California standardistas -- hasn't just removed joyful classes from classrooms, it has removed joy from the act of learning. In fact, its impact is even more nefarious: It has perverted the very nature and meaning of learning itself.

While the president disingenuously extols the positive effect that NCLB is having on public education, our students suffer the disastrous consequences of unsound policy regulated by intimidation. In a desperate search for higher test scores, schools have turned reading into meaningless phonicating, language arts and math into test preparation, art and science into unaffordable luxuries and the measure of learning a single number.

This is the time to act. NCLB is up for reauthorization in March, the California Exit Exam is being endured in high schools across the state as you read this and classes are prepping for the California Standards Test this very minute. Please, demonstrate that we still live in a democracy. Do something!

Jason Roche