Michael Hynes is a visionary superintendent in the Patchogue-Medford public schools on Long Island in New York. He has written and spoken frequently about the importance of a healthy environment for children to learn and grow.

He writes here about the toxic environment caused by federal and state mandates and the mental health crisis in K-12.

Arne Duncan would say, in response, do we have the “courage” to test them more and close their schools.

Those who really put children first, decry testing and privatization, disruption and destabilization.

Now that we are fully aware of the failure of. O Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, it’s time to listen to the voices of wisdom and experience, not to those who think that life is a race, and the devil take the hindmost.