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[Susan notes: All educators need to write to the professional organizations to which they belong, holding them to account for their policy on Race to the Top. The time is NOW. Don't wait.]

Submitted to Language Editor but not published
08/25/2009



NOTE: Sent to the Language Educator (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages - ACTFL)



ACTFL's only comment on the Race to the Top is that foreign language education was not included as a priority.



Apparently, ACTFL approves of spending billions to develop national standards and tests linked to the standards, and approves of linking teacher performance to standardized test scores.



Apparently ACTFL agrees with Secretary Duncan that our major priority in education is more precise and uniform measurement. ACTFL apparently feels that foreign language should be added to the list of subjects to be tested.



There is no evidence that more testing leads to better achievement; in fact, there is tremendous evidence that it has the opposite effect, converting instruction into test-prep rather than real learning. Race to the Top also ignores the most serious problem in American education, under-funded schools in high-poverty areas that do not have the means to provide children with what they need to succeed.



I am disappointed that ACTFL has such a narrow perspective.

Stephen Krashen


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