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[Susan notes: Here's a fine letter that catches editor doing something positive--and presents a plan of resistance against standardized testing.]

Published in Fresno Bee

To the editor

Jim Boren's May 8 column should have been titled "Stop the Madness." Thank you for reigniting this fire in the media. There are many other variables that affect standardized test scores and well-read educators know it.

Education has been hijacked by the corporate world because of the ridiculous and over-simplistic way in which "success" is currently measured. Based on my experience, the only people left to stand up and be counted are parents.

Parents need to express their concerns to legislators in a way that says "My child is more than a number derived from an extremely flawed test that takes place a few hours a year."

Schools need to report 95% participation for the scores to count. Pursuant to California State Education Code 60615, parents can opt their children out of STAR testing. If 6% of families opted out of testing, a real dialogue would begin. I have proof. I propose 6% clubs. One of my clients suggests T-shirts that read, "Opt Out Now, Ask Me How." To any parent interested, I will create and buy the first one.

The writer is executive director Education Perspectives for the Central Valley.M/i>

Sandra Hammond

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