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NY Teachers Tell Congress: "No Child Left Untested"

July 2, 2007

Congress will decide this year whether to reauthorize the controversial "No Child Left Behind Act," and they can expect some advice from over three million educators meeting in Philadelphia this week.

Dianne Loonan, a 6th grade teacher from Watertown, says students should be tested on how they perform from year to year and not how well the entire nation does.

“I think that it's unfair. If I have a child whose is a first or second grade reading level, and they are taking a 6th grade test, that's really an unfair place for them to be.”

President Bush appears ready for a fight on the issue, saying "There is no compromise when it comes to setting high standards and measurement." Loonan thinks the law needs to recognize that more factors go into measuring achievement than how a student scored one day out of the year on a standardized test.

Richard Iannuzzi, who taught in Central Islip for 34 years and now runs New York's teacher's union, says "No Child Left Behind" takes away from a child's total education in order to focus on narrow standards.

“It has forced teachers and school districts to devote an inappropriate amount of energy on passing a standardized test in order to avoid being labeled a failure.”

Iannuzzi adds that testing is an expensive process, and Congress has yet to reimburse up almost $1 billion it has cost New York taxpayers.

Charles Lane/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY