Margie Wong Moradian's letter Feb. 17 is a bit simplistic. No Child Left Behind is not about testing. The testing is used to judge the child's mastery of certain subjects. The tests are meaningless when you know the material.
When you don't know the material, then testing is an evil event. Excuses begin to flow -- poor schools, poor teaching, poor materials, discriminatory tests, etc. NCLB has forced educators to focus on grade-level standards. "Teach it, test it, remediate it" is the current chant.
Many of our parents and students haven't gotten on board with this. Many students are moved ahead simply because they've aged a year, not because they've achieved California's standards for the grade they were in. We test consistently throughout the year and can't seem to improve learning, so the testing is to blame? What if students are misplaced, unwilling, distracted and generally accustomed to moving on no matter how little they learn?
Creative and artistic talent needs to have a solid educational foundation behind it. There's plenty of life outside of school to help foster these aspects of a well-rounded person.