NUVO's coverage of the Statehouse mentions nothing about legislators changing the dictatorial system in which our kids learn (News, "Statehouse Update," Feb. 4-11).

And the national stimulus plan mentions more rewards for standardized tests, more money for buildings and more emphasis on tests to track students learning. That may suffice in suburban areas as long as the schools stay shiny, but it doesn't work for the nation as a whole or in poorer areas.

People, including kids, learn best by doing. Their innate genius won't show up on a standardized test or in a brand-new computer lab.

I almost lost my child as I saw his grades drop from A's in kindergarten and first grade to C's in second grade in a traditional school. The teacher-directed command and control teaching and discipline system wasn't working for him.

Instead I wanted a self-confident, creative, independent thinker with freedom of movement in the classroom. Now that he goes to a Montessori school in Broad Ripple, he isn't chained to a desk, he's a better leader, he experiments without being told and he's all-around happier. And his skill level in every subject has increased even beyond what he would be learning in a mainstream public school system.

My children won't be wearing a uniform in a mega-school and taught to answer correctly on eight out of 10 multiple questions that will be on the ISTEP. Instead, my kids in second and third grade will do everything from looking through microscopes to writing full-length stories.

Matt Litten

Indianapolis

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