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[Susan notes: Three cheers for this strong letter--from a parent who doesn't applaud the fact that her children do well on high-stakes tests.]

Published in Rocky Mountain News

To the editor

CSAP tests a boon only to bottom line of some

As a parent and one who works closely with educators, I know too well the negative implications of Colorado Student Assessment Program testing ("Ad campaign attacks CSAP," Jan. 14). The tests are not an accurate representation of our children's true potential and progress. There are many aspects to learning, and children learn at different speeds and in different ways, i.e., kinesthetically, auditorily, visually, etc.

My own children have taken CSAP tests and the feedback I receive from them is: "All we ever do is study for this stupid test" or "The only good thing about CSAPs are the snacks."

They have both scored well on these tests, but I know as a parent that these tests are not a true barometer of my children's strengths and skills. They are bright in so many other ways that are not measurable by this "stupid test." Having talked with principals, teachers, parents, etc., the majority feel CSAP stigmatizes and demoralizes children and schools in a narrow, judgmental way that does nothing to inspire a love of learning.

McGraw-Hill and the political honchos are the ones benefiting here to the tune of $16 million of our tax money every year to administer these tests. They're the ones getting rich at our expense. This is an egregious example of how special interests are manipulating the system to pad their coffers supposedly for "the children," when in fact it's all to support their bottom line - period.

Mary Hendrick

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