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Race to the Top a flop

The following letter was sent to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman:

Dear Mr. Friedman:

I read your column [“It’s not just about us,” Oct. 9] and saw mention of Arne Duncan and Race to the Top. As an educator of 60 years experience, I can tell you that Race to the Top, with its emphasis on test scores as the be all and end all of education, does not provide the education needed for America’s children or children of any other country. Any teacher will tell you the same thing.

Education must focus on the whole child in all of its aspects. Race to the Top does not do this. What we need are teachers properly paid who get help when needed. And we need a curriculum that is more than math and reading and tests — which is Race to the Top. A curriculum should include all subject areas with tests that help teachers diagnose educational problems.

Please try to understand what good education is about. It is not Race to the Top.

Abe Levine, retired

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