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[Susan notes: Excellent points here. We need to inform the public that schools are doing great harm to the essence of teaching and learning--in order to qualify for the chump change Duncan and his henchmen are handing out.]

Published in San Francisco Chronicle

To the editor

I do not understand the enthusiasm for competing for Race to the Top funding ("State goes after Race to the Top round 2 funds," May 1). If California wins, we get only $700 million, and we get it only once. Also, "winning" means California agrees to a number of objectionable federal rules, which include accepting national standards and national tests and the strong possibility of imposing even more testing on our already over-tested students. The effort, in other words, will be towards measuring the problem, not solving it.

A more cost-effective and productive path is to see if we can eliminate unnecessary tests, which would alleviate a substantial part of the current financial crisis in education. Analyst Jo Ann Behm has estimated that California's High School Exit Exam cost about $600 million a year. So far, studies show that high school exit exams do not result in higher employment, higher earnings, or improved academic achievement. Eliminating this useless exam would, by itself, take care of about 5% of the state's budget shortfall.

Stephen Krashen

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