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Arne Duncan: Those Who Really Care About Education

NOTE: Stephen Krashen sent this letter to the Christian Science Monitor. It should be an Op Ed in every paper in the country.

by Stephen Krashen

The Monitor has announced that "Education Secretary Arne Duncan will
campaign for Democrats" (Sept 22) and "support candidates that really
care about education."

Clearly, the secretary's definition of "really caring about education"
means support for his plan to spend billions on national standards and
new tests, increasing the amount and scope of testing far beyond the
already excessive amount now imposed on children.

  • "Caring about education" means doing this despite research showing
    that increasing testing does not increase achievement. Rather, it
    converts schools into test-prep factories, encouraging the learning of
    test-taking strategies that result in higher scores without students
    learning anything.

  • "Caring about education" means spending billions on test
    construction, validation, revision, etc. at a time when schools are
    already very short of funds, when many science classes have no lab
    equipment, school libraries (those that are left) have few books, many
    school bathrooms lack toilet paper, school years are being shortened,
    and teachers are losing their jobs.

  • Those who really care about education, those who have carefully
    studied the issues and understand what goes on in classrooms and in
    students' lives, support a policy of "no unnecessary testing," testing
    only as much as we need to, and no more.

    — Stephen Krashen
    Christian Science Monitor




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