Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Since Peter Klein offers such a nice coda to Stephen Krashen's letter, I forswear further comment.]

Published in San Diego Union

To the editor

In "The 'impossible' challenges facing education" (Opinion, Dec. 26) the now-former California superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, points out that "California's economic crisis has provided a too-easy excuse for slashing of children's services ranging from child care to pre-K-12 education and more."

Many of these cuts will be catastrophic. But there are some cuts the state should consider that can make things better. A clear example is eliminating the official High School Exit Exam. Analyst Jo Ann Behm has estimated that the combined state and local costs of California's exit exam exceed $500 million per year.

The most recent review of research on exit exams, by the University of Texas, concluded that high school exit exams do not lead to more college attendance, increased student learning or higher employment. In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam.

Improving California’s state of education

Jan 5

In his letter ("Addressing state education issues," Jan. 3), Stephen Krashen writes, "In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam." Let me suggest the beneficiaries of high school exit exams: the companies who write the tests, the companies who write and sell the test preparation guides, and the companies who analyze the test results. Oh, yes, and their lobbyists and the legislators who voted for the exams.

Peter Klein

Stephen Krashen and Peter Klein

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.