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[Susan notes: Good for Joe Navarro. We need lots of letters like this in local papers, pointing out that all we're doing is reidentifying the problem we already knew was there.]

Published in San Jose Mercury News

To the editor

Testing doesn't improve teaching. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is wrong. Competing for Race to the Top funds by tying test scores to evaluate teachers is an overly simplistic solution for improving the quality of education for California's students. For
the past 10 years we have made tougher standards and rigorous testing as the focus of reform. All that we've achieved is re-identifying the same problems. We often hear terms like "achievement gap" and "implementation gap" as factors to explain why African-American, Latino, Native American and Southeast Asian students are failing in school. Vigorous testing does not improve teaching. To improve education, let's talk about helping the state superintendent, local school boards, administrators and teachers meet the cultural and linguistic needs of students and provide a rich and meaningful curricula.

Joe Navarro

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