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[Susan notes: MCAS opponents continue to challenge the Boston Globe, and the paper steamrolls ahead in its editorial and news support of the test.]

Published in Boston Globe

To the editor

THE FACILE comparison of the Cambridge and Somerville schools' relative MCAS success rates is misleading (''Two cities' responses to MCAS carry lesson,'' City & Region, June 6). Losing one-third of its graduating class between 9th and 12th grade, which gives its MCAS pass rate a giant

boost, Somerville clearly is engaged in ''teaching to the test'' while Cambridge has resisted this approach for sound pedagogical reasons: Teaching to a test does not equate with good education.

I offer MCAS proponents the following proposition: Rather than educating lawyers in fine law schools such as the one I attended (Boston College), why not subject them to bar review preparation courses - those courses that law school graduates cram through, forgetting most material the day after the exam.

MCAS test prep is no different. Sadly, our society is choosing to narrow the curriculum and stress test-taking skills over critical thinking, and our political leaders have concluded that our young people are well educated based on their test scores. The standards movement is producing

standardized education, which is an oxymoron.


The writer is a member of the Brookline School Committee.

Ruth Kaplan

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