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[Susan notes: Excellent tag line: America is more than a test score.]

Submitted to Fresno Bee but not published

To the editor

Associated Press reported that President Obama said Monday that students should take fewer standardized tests and school performance should be measured in other ways than just exam results. "Too much testing makes education boring for kids," he said.

"Too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools," the president told students and parents at a town hall.

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is going in the opposite direction. His Blueprint for the reauthorization of NCLB not only includes testing in all subjects, not just English and math, but goes beyond that to include 'interim tests' several times a year: tests preparing for more tests.

Education has always had testing, but NCLB has created a 'high-stakes' testing regime that gives students the message that learning is nothing more than preparing for annual tests. Districts, schools and teachers are all being judged with threats of punishments if they do not achieve specific scores. Students are labeled; teachers' effectiveness are calculated, and schools and districts being demeaned to 'program improvement.' This year more than 80% of schools across the country will be so classified. America is more than a test score.

Rog (Horace) Lucido

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