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[Susan notes: We need to follow Stephen Krashen's example and ask this question in letters to editor. Ask it over and over: Do we have to test every child, every year, to see how our schools are doing? When you get a check-up, they don't take all your blood -- just a sample.]

Published in Washington Post
03/18/2010

To the editor

Do we need to subject students, teachers to more standardized tests?

The No Child Left Behind law, heavily criticized because of the massive amount of testing it involved, required standardized tests in math and reading in the third through eighth grades and one year in high school. According to the March 14 front-page article "Obama calls for 'No Child' remake," we will have standardized tests in every grade, with the strong possibility of tests in other subjects as well, continuing the movement to convert schools into test-prep academies.

This means billions of dollars will be spent on test construction, validation, revision, etc., at a time when schools are already short of funds. Many science classes have no lab equipment, school libraries have few new books, school bathrooms lack toilet paper, school years are being shortened and teachers are losing their jobs.

Do we have to test every child, every year, to see how our schools are doing? When you get a check-up, they don't take all your blood -- just a sample.

Stephen Krashen


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