We wrote about this earlier. Here is a powerful letter from O'Hanian's website:
excerpted from Patricia Polacco's statement:You can imagine my astonishment when I finally called this firm and learned that this was not the reason. They requested my written outline because their 'client' wanted to make sure that I would not discuss my deep concern about NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND MANDATE...as well as my concern that there is a link between this mandate and the SRA/McGraw Hill Company who manufactures, prints, and profits from the sale of these tests to school systems all over our country.
Virginia Parent: When I got to this part, I let out a loud audible GASP.
I have a story about Patricia Polacco. Like millions of children around the country, my daughter was mesmerized by all her stories. Especially The Keeping Quilt And Mrs. Katz and Tusch. (Forgive me, we love her, but my daughter is fourteen and it's been years since I've read these books and the hour is late and my memory weak, but I'm still sure I got those titles right since we read them over and over and over). We loved those books especially because of their Jewish content. There was another about the Oakland fires that really resonated with my five year old. Patricia Polacco was one of our favorites.
Therefore, when we discovered she was speaking at the Corcoran in Washington, imagine our delight! We jumped at the chance. Sarah was already in sixth grade but we went anyway. We are passionate about books in this household, they are everywhere so that it is dangerous to attempt a middle-of-the-night bathroom run for fear of tripping all over then. We have always loved this author because she helped instill that passion in our child. The day at the Corcoran was actually a book illustrators event, but Polacco was featured (perhaps because she illustrates her own books?)
Early in her talk, she began decrying No Child Left Behind. She talked of how this was sapping children's creativity, destroying their love of reading but most importantly how art and music were being scrapped in favor of more test prep. She was unrelenting, unforgiving, she minced no words. I was so overcome, I had tears in my eyes. When she finished, I started applauding. Immediately my eleven-year-old daughter and husband joined me. The rest of the audience sat there in silence. But then they picked up the pace. The clapping became louder and more insistent. All that lacked was that we didn't stand up and give Ms. Polacco a standing ovation.
My daughter learned a valuable lesson that day. You stand up for what you believe in, you fight for what is right, even when you are swimming against the tide.
Tag: anti nclb