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[Susan notes: Excellent use of a Standardisto's words to skewer him.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Richard P. Mills, the education commissioner for New York State, has suggested that the statewide decline in the fourth-grade test results could be linked to tough economic times ("City Test Scores of 3rd Graders See 10,000 F's," front page, June 4).

If external factors like socioeconomic conditions, which lie far beyond the reach of teachers and schools, can have such an adverse effect on test scores, isn't that reason enough to question the use of such tests as the sole measure of student achievement or of teacher or school quality?

Jeanne Heifetz

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