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[Susan notes: James Crawford offers further evidence that the Washington Post coverage of public schools is more often than not that of an ideologue. ]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published
05/11/2009

To the editor

In its relentless push to promote a test-based vision of school

âreform,â the Post seems intent on ignoring â and belittling â

a large body of social science research.



Your May 10 editorial [âWhat Test Results Suggestâ] claims that,

under the No Child Left Behind Act, âthe emphasis on reading and

math has -- contrary to the hypothesis of some critics -- helped

students to do well in other subjects such as science and history.â

This is wishful thinking at best. The contrary âhypothesis,â by

contrast, is supported by numerous studies, including several

sponsored by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy.



In a recent survey,[pdf file] the CEP found that a majority of the nationâs

school districts have significantly increased instructional time in

language arts and math -- the âhigh stakesâ subjects tested under

NCLB -- at the expense of all other subjects. In 72 percent of these

districts, science and/or social studies classes were cut by at least

75 minutes per week.



Itâs not surprising that ideologues refuse to acknowledge this

trend, one of the many perverse effects of high-stakes testing. But

one expects more of the Post.



The writer is President of the Institute for Language and Education Policy, Washington, DC.





James Crawford


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