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[Susan notes: We need to repeat this point over and over: New online tests uses students as experimental subjects.]

Submitted to Wall Street Journal but not published
04/22/2014

To the editor

I do not share the enthusiasm about new digital technology in education ( Founding principles in the digital age, April 22).



There is no evidence that the brave new online tests that promise "real time testing" will be any better than those we have now. In fact, we have not even seen them in action: According to Fair Test (fairtest.org), current common core tests are of the old multiple choice variety.



Nor is there evidence that digital tools that present lectures online and reduce interaction with teachers ("flipped classrooms") will improve achievement. This technology is being pushed on classrooms without proper research.



Instead of careful experimentation, the plan is to use nearly the entire student population as experimental subjects.



Jumping in without proper preparation wastes our students' time and will cost taxpayers much more money in the long run.



Stephen Krashen


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