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[Susan notes: One more attempt to ask the press to focus on the real problem, not surface details.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Fiddling with the words of a poem as sophisticated as "Dover Beach" is a

small part of the problem(Ah, Love, Let Us Be True, or at Least Be Accurate: Jan. 30, 2003). Making analysis of such a poem a requirement for the awarding of a high school diploma is cruel and

unusual, not to mention whacko.

As an English major, I did not encounter the poem until I was a sophomore in college. Then, when I got into graduate school, I was told my "understanding" was wrong.

I admit I don't expect better from Regents test writers who previously put up Roger Ascham's prose as a diploma requirement. When is New York going to decide enough is enough--and terminate the test that's ruining students' lives?

Susan Ohanian

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