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[Susan notes: Krashen points out that instead of cheering for the Alexander-Murray compromise for the new education law, we should realize that it is old hash in a new can. And it still harms children. We must flood newspapers with a version of this letter.]

Published in Los Angeles Times
04/10/2015

To the editor

I do not share the Times' cheerful interpretation of the Alexander-Murray compromise for the new education law ( A new No Child Left Behind, April 10). As long as schools continue annual high-stakes testing for every student in grades 3-8 (and once in high school), the "fretful anxiety and teach to the test mentality" will remain. The huge cost of testing will also remain, and will increase now that testing is done online.

There is no need to test every student. We can get the same information from low-pressure testing of small samples of students, each student taking only a part of the test, and extrapolating the results to larger groups. This will save money, reduce anxiety, and give teachers more time to teach.

When you go to the doctor, they don't take all your blood. They only take a sample.


Stephen Krashen


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