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Your Opinion: Inconsistent on education

Dear Editor:

Congressman Luetkemeyer’s latest letter tells us of the perils of education programming and policy currently at work in Washington. Frankly Luetkemeyer is all over the map on this issue.

His campaign speeches he tells us that he supports the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, and then in his latest treatise he tells us that he wants education policy controlled by the states. It’s easy to see that he has absolutely no idea about how our educational system really works or where its strengths or weaknesses lie.

Those in the know understand that education policy in our country is a careful dance between the states and federal government, between national standards expected to be achieved by every child and the states that know how best to educate their kids. As the impact of Brown v. the Board of Education painfully showed us, states can’t be left alone to determine educational policy in a vacuum.

It is always difficult to make standards that need to be implemented nationwide but it is important to try, and states without accountability leave student’s futures at risk.

Say for example little Johnny has always been a straight “A” student in his state and now he’s ready for college. He takes the SAT and can’t even come close to entrance standards for college. Close examination of his education shows that his state did what they thought was best for Johnny there, but they didn’t require him to meet national standards. Having our kids meet the minimum criterions set by the college entrance tests heads kids toward being ready for demands of education at the next level. Key to this process is core minimum standards which must be met by all students.

One of the major benefits of NCLB was data collected on groups of kids. What we consistently find is that many of the kids that receive free and reduced lunch have some of the lowest scores on end-of-year testing. This is an in-your-face statistic that shows that poverty is our greatest challenge toward helping kids. We used to care about this. Ask principals here about their Monday breakfast lines.

Congressman Luetkemeyer and his good ole’ boys want to cut the programs that help these families. They don’t worry about the Sequester they voted for and its resulting jobs cuts because it doesn’t affect their job, or does it?

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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