Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: Read the whole letter. Don't miss the great medical metaphor! Classic Krashen.]

Submitted to Time Magazine but not published
04/24/2009

To the editor

Re: "How to raise the standard in America's schools," Time, April 27,

2009.



Walter Isaacson argues that we need uniform national standards so we

can find out what works in education and compare our students to those

elsewhere [April 27]. Neither argument holds.



Progress in educational research does not require uniform tests given

to every student in the country. Just as research is done in many

other areas, educational researchers compare small groups of students

who differ only in the treatment under examination, using highly

reliable and valid measures, and then generalize from these results.

This approach has been very successful, and is a much better method

than testing millions of children, trying to deal with all the factors

other than the treatment that could affect results.



Similarly, if the purpose of nationally standardized tests is to see

how well our children are doing, we do not need to test every child.

We need only a representative sample. When your doctor takes your

blood, he takes only a small amount. He doesn't need all of it.

Stephen Krashen


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.