[caption id="attachment_99344" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Federal policy makers and many school reformers seem oblivious to current research about learning and motivation, Broderick noted."][/caption]

Speaking during her organization’s 72nd annual conference, Mary Broderick, outgoing president of the National School Boards Association, described a letter she wrote to President Obama urging him to reduce the federal emphasis on testing and give local schools the latitude to nurture students’ creativity.

“During my travels, I [have] observed brain activity in a young child with a complicated puzzle to solve,” she told conference attendees. “You could see the fascination and...

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