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[Susan notes:

The letter writer is right: Let's extend his suggestion and call state departments of education Bureaus of Testing. That seems to be all they care about these days.]

Published in New York Times
07/19/2003

To the editor



Don't Just Test Them. Educate Them.



Re "City Plans to Add 6 Standardized Tests in Math and English" (news article, July 17):



Randi Weingarten, president of the city teachers' union, says the city's educational policy makers "are in danger of becoming the Department of Testing rather than the Department of Education." She is correct, especially if one thinks of education as nurturing a child's full

potential.



Constant test prep leaves little time for children to conduct research projects, paint, participate in mock trials, explore nature, write plays and newsletters, and engage in other activities that foster deep thought, imagination and creativity.



Children find such activities meaningful because the activities enable them to develop their own naturally emerging powers. Intensive test prep

teaches children that school is a tedious, anxiety-ridden place where a narrow range of skills are imposed from without.



William Crain, Prof. of Psychology, City College CUNY


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