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[Susan notes: It's always nice to find a paper's editorial page doing something right--and then, as Don Perl does, invite readers to examine the issue in greater depth.

You can support the coalition for Better Education's billboard fund. Every year they erect billboard urging parents to opt out of the tests. And every year the number of opt outs increases. Help make this next season a rousing "NO!"]

Published in Greeley Tribune

To the editor

I believe you will find many readers who concur with the Tribune's mindful piece of Sunday, November 16th titled "New state tests cost too much." I am among them. You have outlined one of the problems -- that the tests are to be taken by computer, and our district does not have enough technology to accommodate the test taking regimen. Also, students from poorer families are further disadvantaged since these children often don't have the computer experience that their more affluent peers have.

Let's look deeper and ask some fundamental questions. Who will profit from the administration of these tests? Will it be our students? Or will it be the multi-national corporations such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill who create and see to their administration? In 2010 then Representative Judy Solano from Brighton -- State District 31 did an investigation of the costs of high stakes standardized testing, then labeled CSAP. Taxpayers paid an excess of $50,000,000 to these international publishing houses for this testing regimen. Nothing has changed. If anything, more taxpayer funds will be earmarked for these corporate behemoths.

With this as background information, I believe that our school district is well within its rights to refuse to test our children. Other school districts are examining this possibility. The school board in Colorado Springs has spoken out strongly against this massive testing enterprise. Students in Boulder have refused to submit to the tests. Resistance is growing everywhere. Furthermore, the Colorado Department of Education has been established to serve the various districts, not the other way around.

Now is the time for the power of negative thinking. Let us not earmark one more dollar toward the corporate takeover of a public trust -- public education. We have seen the devastating influences of corporate engineered policies on education, and on our society. Now is the time to simply say NO.

The writer is with the Coalition for Better Education, Inc.


Don Perl

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