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[Susan notes: Good, strong letter.]

Published in New York Times
07/17/2013

To the editor

Re The Trouble With Testing Mania (editorial, July 14):



The country's fixation on high-stakes testing is a failure. The United States made faster progress toward improving academic achievement and closing gaps among racial groups before No Child Left Behind than since it was enacted.



Of course we need better student and school assessment systems. But the highly touted Common Core exams are not a significant improvement. Contrary to the promises of promoters, they will remain largely multiple choice. There will be even more tests in more grades. Heavy reliance on scores to make educational decisions will continue. Districts will have to spend billions for computers to administer the new exams.



America's children, classrooms and communities deserve better. High-stakes testing should be replaced with educationally sound alternatives, like those used in Finland and by the New York Performance Standards Consortium. To encourage adoption, there must be a moratorium on Common Core exam consequences. That will protect educational quality and equity from more testing harm.





Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest


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