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[Susan notes: The headline given to this letter is Just Say No to the PSAT.


Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Re “City Unveils a Plan to Urge Students to Take the PSAT” (news article, Aug. 22):

The use of the PSAT to create a culture at school where kids are thinking about college negates the very essence of a college education. College is not an extension of high school; it is a milieu that should foster creativity and independent thinking, skills that not only enhance the individual but also enable society to progress.

It is also unrealistic to think that schools will not teach to the test, especially when they will be judged on the collective results.

The very skills that are necessary for college, which should be instilled in pre-college education, will be wasted when students, to succeed in getting a seat, will be forced to perform on tests that decide in advance what they should know and that leave no room for flexible, imaginative and analytical thinking.

The writer is professor emeritus of behavioral sciences at Kingsborough Community College.

Connie S. Goldfarb

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