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[Susan notes: We need to follow Stephen Krashen's lead and keep reminding people that the Race to the Top is a one-time payout and that those exit exams are forever. . . unless and until we force change.]

Published in Los Angeles Times blog

To the editor

"Race to the Top was a way for the Obama administration to pressure school districts to take on reforms -- if they had the political will to do so."

This is not correct. Race to the Top (RTTT) is not about "reforms," it is about imposing more standards and tests on children who are already over-tested, while ignoring the real problems in education. The districts and unions who refused to go along with RTTT were the ones with the "political will" to do the right thing: they chose to protect children from an ill-conceived and expensive plan.

If California wants the extra money, they should consider dumping the High School Exit Exam. Analyst Jo Ann Behm has calculated that this exam costs California about 600 million per year, and research shows that such exams have no positive effects. They do not lead to higher employment, higher earnings, or improved academic achievement.

Qualifying for RTTT would give California a one-time payment of 700 million. Dumping the exam would save 600 million every year.

Stephen Krashen

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