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[Susan notes: Excellent point: Why can Achieve, Inc. see the tests that are hidden from the rest of us?]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published

To the editor

What should infuriate parents most about Achieve Inc.'s new high school exit exam comparison study is that they were able to write it at all [Md. Exams Not 'Overly Demanding,' Study Says, June 10]. Florida parents are still not permitted within 50 feet of the highly guarded Florida FCAT exit exams, even after they sued to see them and 12,000 seniors lost diplomas to the reviled test last spring. In Maryland, parents may view the High School Assessments under highly secure and restrictive conditions and only after signing a non-disclosure agreement which prohibits them from talking about the tests. Achieve policy wonks, on the other hand, were invited to pore over these tests and pontificate endlessly in a glossy report about how easy they are and how it is time for state education officials to think about turning up the screws. It's high time that parents be given unlimited access to the high stakes exit exams that we are paying for so that we can judge them for ourselves.

The writer is the Coordinator of Marylanders Against High Stake Testing

Sue Allison

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