The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Letter: ​Education issues are multifaceted


I am writing in regards to Danielle Chemtob’s article “Spellings addresses NC education concerns at forum,” which details the proceedings of the Carolina Forum hosted by UNC-system President Margaret Spellings and Kati Haycock, CEO of The Education Trust.

This letter is meant to expand on Chemtob’s coverage of the meeting and to address concerns conspicuously absent from the proceedings.

Ms. Spellings, President Bush’s Secretary of Education, oversaw the initiation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The article broadly addresses the discussion between Spellings and Haycock, commending the speakers for their agreement that the NCLB offered nascent steps toward solving race gap in education.

While I agree that this act was important for holding schools accountable to minority and low-income students, I strongly believe that it politicized public education in ways that miss the broader democratic assets of a publicly funded system, and thus invoked bureaucratic rather than real education reform.

Reports vary widely as to its relative success at improving test scores, and have had unsavory effects in places like Atlanta where teachers and administrators were charged and convicted of racketeering for cheating. NCLB limited instruction time for non-tested areas like history, science and art.

Such approaches severely restrict education in profound ways, minimizing student achievement by fetishizing test scores as singular measures of growth.

Unfortunately, the article, like the forum, left out a broader view of the problems in education, and was too accepting of bureaucratic solutions to more complex issues that surround the race gap and its implications.

Zoe Vaughan


Public Policy

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