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“Real World” Trumps Test Scores at Educator Conference

July 3, 2008

Washington D.C. – A new plan unveiled at the National Education Association conference this week outlines replacing the No Child Left Behind law. Some 9,000 educators from all over the country are attending the conference in the national capital.

Among those on hand is Idaho Education Association President Sherri Wood. She says the method set out under current law misses the mark on educating the whole child and meeting the needs of the work force.

"That's what the business world is asking for. They want people who can get along, and work in a team, solve problems – not just whether they're going to mark A, B, C or D on a bubble test."

Wood believes that even while there's a lot of focus on the federal law at the conference, looking beyond test scores – which have been rising – shows real educational success.

"You walk into a public school and you see kids of very diverse backgrounds, learning how to get along with their peers. Learning is happening every minute of every day."

Supporters of No Child Left Behind say test scores are important to being able to measure what kids are learning and to hold schools and teachers accountable. Legislation to renew the Act, rather than replace it, is stalled in Congress.

More on the conference is available online at www.nea.org

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID