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[Susan notes: This is such a vital point. Instead of sending scattered messages to politicos with all the things we know are vital to schools, we need to concentrate on one thing: Stop the tests that are sucking the life blood--and money--out of schools.

On to Revolution.]

Submitted to American Libraries but not published

To the editor

As Keith Michael Fiels ( Support school libraries, Sept 5) points out, "testing pressures and budget decisions have led to elimination of school libraries," at a time in which research evidence for libraries has never been stronger. He recommends we support several pro-library efforts in Congress.

The problem is that "testing pressures" are greater than they have ever been. All proposals for renewal of the education law are test-centric, some involving the same amount of testing as the old law. Also, the new tests are delivered online, a never-ending boondoggle for testing and computer companies as equipment and software is regularly declared obsolete. There is no evidence that the brave new hi-tech tests will do students any good.

Moreover, new tests, covering more subjects, more grade levels, and including "interim" testing, are being introduced all the time, even though research shows that increasing testing does not increase school performance.

Only the opt-out movement is holding back the flood.

There will be no funding for libraries if we continue to spend billions on unvalidated and expensive nonstop testing.

Stephen Krashen

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