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[Susan notes: It's always good to catch a media person getting something right. And it's terrific at the same time to skewer a couple of ridiculous curriculum standards.]

Submitted to Baltimore Sun but not published

To the editor

Mike Bowler was right on target when he observed, "We're a society obsessed with quantifiable learning results, the earlier the better." [Forget the flashcards, remember imagination - Sept. 12]. One need only look as far as Maryland's content standards to realize that "old-fashioned fun and fantasy" is quickly becoming a scarce commodity in Maryland kindergartens. Consider the kindergarten "Economics" guidelines spelled out in Maryland's official "Voluntary" State Curriculum: "(1) Identify that resources are used to make products (a) Recognize human resources as workers." Nary a mention of finger-painting. Since when does business school jargon naturally follow potty training and Winnie the Pooh? At least Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) didn't live to see how the "standards movement" has ravaged the kindergarten experience -- it would have broken his heart.

Sue Allison, Coordinator, Marylanders Against High Stakes Testing

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