Not all students created equal

Dear Editor:Thank you, Jorge Montero for your enlightened voice against "No Child Left Behind". (Letters to the Editor, 2/26/10) You may not be a Nobel Prize winner, but as an involved parent you are a very important member of the educational partnership of teachers, parents and students. As a lifelong educator of more than 35 years, and as former principal of the now defunct Pius X High School in Downey, I applaud you for rightfully pointing out that not all students are the same and that the "one size fits all" approach of NCLB is ineffective and wrong. In support of your opinion, I cite here Dr. Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor at USC, and the world's foremost authority on language acquisition and reading. In recent letters to editors of papers across the nation, Krashen writes, "...The Bush and Obama administrations, assume that schools will do better if they only try harder... and they will only try harder if we 'hold them accountable.' This point of view ignores findings that show that American children from higher income families who attend well-funded schools score at or near the top on international tests. This means that the real problem is poverty: Study after study shows that children of poverty suffer from poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, and have little access to reading material, factors clearly associated with school performance." (Krashen, March 6, 2010) Let us deal with the real problems of our public schools nationwide. Until we narrow the gap between the very rich and the very poor, a significant part of our population will suffer from poorly executed educational programs, and our collective educational outcomes will continue to lag behind those of the rest of the industrial world. - Dr. Michael J. Parmer, Downey

********** Published: March 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 47