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[Susan notes: Here's a nice blend of research and community action to refute Standardisto dogma.]

Published in Boston Globe

To the editor

March 2, 2006

IT TAKES chutzpah for Education Commissioner David Driscoll to lament our state's ''obsession" with passing the MCAS tests after his years spent pushing policies that give teachers little choice but to obsess over test scores ("State eyes tougher diploma standards, Feb. 28). Research shows high-stakes testing promotes this kind of obsession, undermining a rich and varied education that meets the needs of the whole child. News that there has been no reduction in college students' need for remediation only underscores the shortcomings of Driscoll's favored policies.

Meanwhile, more than 44 state organizations have endorsed the Campaign for the Education of the Whole Child, of which I am lead author, which advocates allowing teachers to ease up on MCAS test prep and emphasize critical-thinking skills for college and lifelong learning. What do you say, Commissioner Driscoll? Time to rethink your MCAS obsession?

Lisa Guisbond

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