The "Million Erasers" Campaign Urges Public to Send Erasers and the Message that No Child Left Behind is a Huge Mistake

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Teachers, parents, and the public are urged to send erasers of any kind to the Commission on No Child Left Behind sending them the message that NCLB, although well-meaning, is a huge mistake and must be erased from public schools.

High school teacher, author, and anti-No Child Left Behind activist Debra Craig is launching a new campaign in hopes of bringing attention to the public how unrealistic and destructive No Child Left Behind is to our public schools. “Even though I know it was created with the best intentions and our public schools do need to be held accountable for giving students the best education, the way this current legislation is constructed is NOT the way to do it,” comments Debra.

The biggest complaint, among many, this eight year teaching veteran has with No Child Left Behind is that it puts absolutely no responsibility on the students or parents for improving test scores or their own academic success. “It is absurd to make teachers and schools 100% accountable for something they don’t have complete control over. Learning doesn’t happen by osmosis. Students need the motivation to learn and the parents need to encourage their child to want that education. Teachers and schools cannot do it alone.

That’s why NCLB will never be successful and is a huge mistake. It is setting up public schools, especially those in low socio-economic areas for failure. I also want to remind people that President Bush has nothing but a track record of failures when it comes to his administration and NCLB is the first one on that list."

That's why I’m urging all teachers, parents, and everyone to send the message to the Commission on No Child Left Behind that it is a mistake, and like students are taught to do when they make a mistake, erase it and start over again, so should the government. Maybe they should be spending our money and energies on changing the culture that exists in low socio-economic areas by giving skills to parents so that they can help their child be successful in school.”

The catalyst for this campaign happened after Debra returned from Hartford, Connecticut where she spoke in front of the Commission on No Child Left Behind expressing her concerns with this legislation. The commission is holding hearings in five different cities on five different issues concerning NCLB. The one in Hartford dealt with improving standardized test scores. Debra explained to the panel how unfair it is to hold schools accountable for things they have little control over like student motivation. “In my job as the on-campus suspension teacher, I see first hand the students who blow off school and testing because they think it’s irrelevant to their lives. Yet schools are to blame? How fair is that?”

The next day, Debra read an article online in the Hartford Courant which quoted one of the chairman, Governor Tommy Thompson as saying “Very few people say let’s scrap the law altogether. That’s a good sign.”

“Is that so, Governor Thompson? Well, I think we should scrap it altogether and my guess is that there are lots of people who feel the same way too.”

So Debra is asking that teachers, parents, or anyone who feels that No Child Left Behind is a mistake which needs to be erased from our public schools, to please send any kind of eraser to Governor Tommy Thompson. “It can be the standard pink eraser, pencils with erasers, pencil cap erasers, or chalkboard/white board erasers. My goal is that the commission receives one million erasers before they meet in front of Congress in early 2007.” Erasers should be sent to:

Governor Tommy Thompson

Commission on No Child Left Behind

One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20036

Debra is requesting that people who do email Governor Thompson erasers email Debra and tell her how many they sent. She wants to keep track of the total to see how close she comes to her goal of one million erasers.

Debra wants to thank everyone who participates in this campaign and is grateful for their help in sending the message to politicians who know nothing about education that we want real help for our schools, not just this obsessive focus on raising test scores.

Debra Craig is available for media interviews and for talks with teacher or parent organizations. Debra’s book, Why Is the Teacher’s Butt So Big? Plus 111 Other Mysteries of Public Education is available at Amazon.com, through her website, and by request at all major book stores.

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Debra Craig