Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Go forth and do likewise. This Associated Press

will appear in papers across the country. Follow Stephen Krashen's example and send a letter to the editor when you see the article.

The Obama team is testing the waters here. Let them know what you think]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published

To the editor

"Obama says standardized tests too punitive" (3/28/11) is baffling.

The president is calling for less standardized testing and less teaching to the test while his Department of Education is launching the most extensive standardized testing program ever seen in American education, one that goes far beyond the president's reasonable suggestion of a standardized test to be given every few years.

It is widely agreed that No Child Left Behind put too much emphasis on testing, but the new plan goes far beyond NCLB.

NCLB demands tests in reading and math. The Department of Education's Blueprint encourages testing in all subjects.

NCLB requires one test at the end of the year. The new plan includes "interim tests" to be given several times during the year, and because the Blueprint endorses measuring improvement, we could have tests given in the fall and spring.

In addition, all tests will be closely linked to national standards, which promises to result in more teaching to the test than ever.

There is no evidence that this approach has ever worked and plenty of reason to believe it will result in the kind of punitive "pressure-packed atmosphere" the president wants to avoid.

Secretary of Education Duncan should listen to President Obama.

Stephen Krashen

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.