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[Susan notes: Thomas Pynchon's words of wisdom apply: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.--Gravity's Rainbow ]

Published in Christian Science Monitor

To the editor

I suspect that the common core standards' elitist reading lists (sample items in Are you as well-read as a 10th grader? Jan. 17) are designed to get educators and the public arguing about what should be on the reading lists, rather than focusing on the far more important question of whether we should have common core standards and tests at all.

There is no evidence that standards and tests improve school achievement. The huge sums of money budgeted for standards and for tests to enforce the standards should be used to protect children from the effects of poverty, the real reason so many students struggle in school.

Stephen Krashen

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