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[Susan notes: Here\'s attempt to show newspapers that there are national movements against testing.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

I was struck by Jacques Steinberg's descriptor for MCAS, the Massachusetts state test high schoolers must pass in order to receive a high school diploma (Lessons: One Principal's Worth. Jan. 1,2003). Steinberg casually refers to the tests as occupying one part of a busy principal's 12-hour day--and he calls them the "do-or-die standardized tests."

He's right, of course: the Massachusetts high-stakes tests have that consequence on kids' lives. Consider what their options are without a high school diploma.

Concerned educators across the country want to stop the abuse. We have signed on to MassRefusal, urging Massachusetts teachers to refuse to participate in such an abusive system. If a student completes 12 years of course work, a diploma should not depend on the "do-or-die" of a standardized test.

Susan Ohanian

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