Sunday, January 20, 2013

Send In the Clowns

The New York Post
NY Post's "journalism" features this photo 
of Nielsen at a birthday wine tasting 
in an attempt to damage her reputation.

Dear Editor,

Clearly from the headline “Ed big is a class clown,” authors Susan Edelman and Candace Giove intended their article to be a real expose of shady practices, a denunciation of a city employee. I suppose the authors were hoping for shock and outrage. My response was more along the lines of, “Oh, good! An education bureaucrat who is doing her job -- standing up for kids!”

Standardized testing rules the education world. What do you think this does to the classroom? Enliven it? Enrich it? Make kids love coming to school? Love learning? Love taking those tests?

No. Constant testing shrinks the curriculum of our schools only to that which can be measured on a multiple-choice, short-answer test. But how do you test for the ability to ask a good question? Solve complex real-world problems? Work well with others? Be innovative? Be compassionate? Be a good citizen of a democracy?

You can’t. And that’s why our education system is failing.

So Lisa Nielsen takes risks. So she uses her influence to stand up for every child’s right to meaningful learning. You don’t denounce a person like that. You send them flowers and a thank-you card.

I wish Lisa Nielsen the best of luck. And I am ready to stand with her.

Lisa Cooley
School Board Member


  1. I like the photo...that is what caught my attention. She looks like someone that I want to engage with. This should be a prerequisite for teachers, no?
    BTW we homeschool 3 of our 4 kids (baby is only still 1). One of the resons we chose to do so is because I know several people that were homeschooled and they are such interesting people with a different perspective on life and everything it holds. We are having so much fun!!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Natalie! Lisa does take a good picture!

    I am in this fight because I think all kids deserve the kind of individual focus that parents give their homeschooling kids.

  3. The NEW YORK POST isn't worth burning, let alone reading.

  4. True, but people still read it and many actually still regard it as a newspaper!