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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen rightly calls attention to the harm done by the new mandate for increased standardized testing. We need to think about where the money will come from, what schools will give up next.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published

To the editor

Where are the education dollars going?

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, October 3

The Times points out that President Obama is calling for a longer school year while school districts, short of money, are reducing instruction ("Extending the school year," Oct 2). Where are the education dollars going?

The money will be spent on new tests. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) required an unreasonable amount of testing. Education Secretary Duncan wants to increase testing far beyond NCLB levels.

NCLB tested reading and math once a year. According to the Department of Education's "Blueprint for Reform," the new tests will include "interim" tests given throughout the year, and it is likely that major tests will be given in the fall and spring, in order to measure growth. The Blueprint also recommends testing other subjects as well as reading and math.

There is no evidence that increasing standardized testing improves learning. Billions will be wasted in useless efforts to measure achievement, not to improve it.

Stephen Krashen

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