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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen is one of the few lonely voices speaking out publicly against the massive testing that children in public schools will soon endur--speaking out and offering evidence.]

Submitted to Ventura County Star but not published

To the editor

Will the common core âmove classrooms away from the heavy testing and rote memorization that characterized the No Child Left Behind Act"? ( Ventura County educators gearing up for new English, math standards, Feb 23)

According to documents posted by the US Department of Education on its website as well as other sources, it is clear that the common core will result in more testing than we have ever seen on this planet, and much more than the amount demanded by No Child Left Behind.

Testing done at the end of the school year will be expanded to include all subjects that can be tested and testing will be done at more grade levels. One of the groups creating the tests, PARCC, urges the development of an accountability system that covers P-20 (pre-school through college), and "that supports the full implementation of the common standards."

There will also be "interim" tests given through the year and there may be pretests in the fall to measure growth through the school year.

This means about a 20-fold increase over No Child Left Behind.

The cost of implementing these electronically delivered national tests will be enormous, bleeding money from legitimate and valuable school activities.

There is no evidence that all this testing will help. In fact, the evidence we have now shows that increasing testing does not increase achievement.


More grade levels to be tested: PARCC document: http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/PARCC%20MCF%20Response%20to%20Public%20Feedback_%20Fall%202011%20Release.pdf; Race to the top for tots: http://www.ed.gov/early-learning/elc-draft-summary. (For a reaction, see http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/07/stephen_krashen_race_to_the_to.html)

P-20 testing: PARCC: On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core Standards, 2010, Achieve, Inc. p. 4).

Interim tests: Duncan, A. September 9, 2010. Beyond the Bubble Tests: The Next Generation of Assessments -- Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks to State Leaders at Achieve's American Diploma Project Leadership Team Meeting: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/beyond-bubble-tests-next-generation-assessments-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-state-l. The Blueprint, (op. cit.) p. 11. âU.S. Asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given,â http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/education/03testing.html?_r=1

Testing in the fall (value-added measures: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-statehouse-convention-center-little-rock-arkansas (August 25, 2010). The Blueprint (op.cit.), p. 9.

Testing in more subjects: The Blueprint A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. United States Department of Education March 2010; Education and the Language Gap: Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the Foreign Language Summit,":


Zero evidence it will work: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1). http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v14n1/. Additional evidence in Krashen, S. NUT: No Unnecessary Testing. http://sdkrashen.com/index.php?cat=4



Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus, USC

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