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[Susan notes: Too bad the Times editorialists don't read the letters page.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Re “Schools Slow in Closing Gaps Between Races” (front page, Nov. 20):

There is no surprise in the gaps in test results between minority and white students. Standardized tests really don’t do much other than rank kids on a bell curve. In fact, most serious educators will tell you that the only thing standardized tests are really, really good at is sorting kids along socioeconomic lines.

So, given income disparities between the two groups, the results were a foregone conclusion and will remain predictable as long as those disparities prevail.

No Child Left Behind can’t begin to measure the success or failure of our country’s schools unless we recognize that education is not something that lends itself to standardization.

The writer is a trustee of an independent school.

Matthew Stone

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