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[Susan notes: The apple doesn't fall from the tree. In 2001, as a Colorado junior high teacher, this letter writer's grandfather refused to administer the test. Now this boy worries about what tests do to kids segregated by test scores. ]

Published in Greeley Tribune

To the editor

Why don't I like tests? We take them too often. Last year in just about all of my classes we took Galileo, and then TCAP, and then throughout the following weeks unit end/unit beginning tests. We don't take these tests to learn, we only take the tests to see if we are smart enough to be put into classes where we are segregated by test scores. The only reason we come to school is not to learn, but to take tests.

Most of the time teachers are forced to teach a given curriculum. They are trying to get everyone to understand that curriculum. The reality is that not everyone understands at the same pace. Some fall behind. When that happens teachers and other students will try to help those who fall behind. Meanwhile the district says, "so leave them behind and focus on the 'good kids.'" The only time those kids who fall behind know that fact is after the tests and after they are put in a "targeted class." These are the students who tend to give up. Now can you imagine what all this testing does to their self-esteem?

Respectfully submitted,

Cade Alden, 13 years old

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