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[Susan notes: It's a powerful letter. Good for the author for her "shame on us" point.]

Published in Raleigh News & Observer
03/15/2006

To the editor




Regarding the March 11 article about incorrect SAT scores submitted to

local universities because of a scoring error, especially the remark

that a student may have missed out on a scholarship for lack of tens of

points, I find myself mourning the dependence of our society on faulty

measures of worth. We insist that every aspect of a person be measured,

especially of our kids. We need to have standardized test scores for

every year of their schooling, else how will we know if they are

learning anything? Surely projects and (gasp!) the assessment of the

teacher can tell us nothing.



Standardized tests can indeed give us information, but researchers know

that a single measure can be faulty on a number of counts. The emphasis

we place on these scores leads us to categorize our kids, force our

teachers to "teach to the test" because their jobs are on the line, and

even, apparently, decide who can go to college and who is not worthy.

Shame on us.



Laura Bottomley


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