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[Susan notes: This letter went to Representative Baca, who is sponsoring the Save Our Schools bill, with copies to other Representatives. Go forth and do likewise.]

Submitted to Your Congressional Representatives but not published

Dear Representative Joe Baca:

I congratulate you for sponsoring the Save Our Schools bill to remove

mandated testing from the reauthorization of the Elementary and

Secondary Education Act. Mandated high stakes tests have done nothing

to help poor kids in under-resourced schools. Instead, mandated high

stakes tests have done massive harm to kids̢۪ educational chances

through narrowing curriculum, creating a climate wherein short term

gains in scores is all that matters, encouraging cheating, limiting

what education should be about to the most surface testable content,

abandoning understanding in favor of learning tricks for doing well on

tests. Mandated tests—along with the standards movement that has

pushed for them and the industries that profit from them—have nearly

wrecked what has long been a beacon to the rest of the world: free,

high quality public education in the U.S. I applaud you,

Representative Baca, for recognizing the wrong-headedness of embedding

mandated testing in ESEA, and I wish you, children in the U.S., and our

entire society much luck in moving your bill forward to passage.


Carole Edelsky

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