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[Susan notes: Excellent point. It is easy for newspaper editorialists to be appalled by test prep gimmicks for 4-year-olds. Krashen points to the deeper issue.]

Submitted to Austin American Statesman but not published

To the editor

Commenting on a new toy designed to help children

learn to time themselves in preparation for

standardized tests, the Statesman concluded (No child left behind – even by Santa, Dec. 27) that “Four years old is too early to start test prepping.”

So is five years old, six years old and fifteen years old. “Test prepping” is not learning. Each minute spent on “test prep” is stolen from teaching and learning.

All educators understand the importance of assessment, but the standardized tests imposed on children in schools today are inappropriate and excessive, and profit only the test publishers and toy manufacturers.

Stephen Krashen

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