My distaste for this man grows day by day. Ruben Navarette has been busy carving out a career as a contrarian Latino, and he does have the distinction of being a local boy (Sanger High) who made good, earning his master’s at Harvard and writing a book, in part to explain why he didn’t, ultimately, finish a doctorate there. He’s accomplished and syndicated in nearly 200 papers nationally, so he needs no further accolades from me.

He goes too far, however, in this column, wherein he not only generously describes the disaster which is NCLB as "educational reform" but tips his increasingly-conservative hat to the desirability of including vouchers in future revisions of that law. Of course, his take is that teachers oppose this because we are afraid of being accountable.

That’s nonsense, Mr. Navarette. I’m not afraid of being accountable, but I want the community as a whole to be accountable for poor academic performance, rather than just teachers. I want students who are held accountable by parents. I want parents who are held accountable by community leaders. As a member of my community, I am concerned that sacrificing increasing chunks of instructional time to test preparation may actually detract from, rather than improve, educational performance. How can I call myself an effective science educator when I spend less and less time actually doing science?

To put it another way, Mr. Navarette, should individual members of the media be held accountable for the largely-unreported story of widespread teacher disenchantment with NCLB? Frankly, I have a test I’d like to give you. You’re a Harvard man, so I’m sure you can guess that if you had to spend more and more time taking tests that this might actually take time away from being a journalist.

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