Ron Berler has written about his year in a so-called “failing school” in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The school has a dedicated staff trying its best to raise the achievement levels of students who enter school far behind. Yet it is a “failing school” because no matter how much progress the students make,the children are still not as “proficient” as those in nearby affluent New Canaan.

Berler has a new book out, called “Raising the Curve,” explaining the utter failure of No Child Left Behind.

He wrote this note to me:

“The Title 1 school I wrote about — Brookside Elementary, in Norwalk, Conn. — is 0-for-NCLB. This past school year, the local school board cut $5.9 million from its budget, and applied 80 percent of those cuts to the city’s 12 struggling elementary schools. At Brookside that meant, among other things, eliminating the school’s literacy specialist and shuttering its 15,000-title library every other week. The Brookside principal and the Stamford, Conn., schools superintendent called it “a crime.” I wish this story had a happy ending. It doesn’t.”

It is popular treatments like Berler’s that will help the American public understand that public education is not “broken,” but federal education policy is broken and should be completely scrapped and rewritten to address real problems.