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[Susan notes: Brad makes an important point, one we should all be making--over and over.]

Published in Lowell (MASS) Sun

To the editor

Eighty four percent of the Class of 2004 passed the MCAS on their first try last spring. So is the reaction of state education officials one of jubilation and celebration? No, it is that the test must be too easy (Raising of MCAS bar is weighed" 4/30/03.)

The Board of Education established a high-stakes test, continually praised its quality, and, after some deliberation, set a cut score. For their part, students focused on the test, teachers taught what they were told to teach (sometimes at the expense of more meaningful education), and scores went up.

So do we praise students and teachers for their efforts? No, we conclude that not enough students are flunking.

This is not raising the bar; it is redrawing the maze to make more dead ends. At some point even the most avid MCAS proponent has to say "enough!"

Brad McGowan

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