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[Susan notes: Short and strong, the letter summarizes recent atrocities with New York Regents testing.]

Published in New York Times
07/12/2003

To the editor



I strongly disagree with the claim by Richard P. Mills, New York State's education commissioner, that "when people say, `the standards are great, but I don't like this testing regimen,' that's really an attack on the standards" (news article, July 7).



The Education Department creates these make-or-break exams without sufficient professional oversight or accountability to assure that the tests are aligned with the standards. For years, the mandatory English language arts exams have routinely included censored literature: passages are rewritten without the authors' permission, a violation of the standards of that discipline.



The department established a passing score for the Regents physics test in violation of the standards of the testing profession. Now the Math A Regents exam, a graduation requirement, has been set aside as improperly prepared and aligned.



No student's future should depend on instruments of such questionable validity. It's time for a moratorium.

Jeanne Heifetz


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