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[Susan notes: For a look at the outrageous testimony of corporatized Standardistos invited to testify before the House Committee on Education, go here. Kudos to Joe Lucido for not letting this outage go unanswered.



This Committee should hear from teachers, parents, and students.]

Submitted to but not published
07/18/2008

Dear Congressman Miller,



I was extremely concerned about the panel of "experts" that testified today. While some ideas about adding extra counselors and class reduction are to be lauded as ways of helping kids, using more testing as a means to determine teacher "effectiveness" is not. There has been NO study that has proven testing improves learning. Obviously, if one practices testing in reading and math all day, there are going to be effects on their scores. But to what degree do we compromise their real life thinking skills as a result? Singapore, a high scoring country on international tests, has shown that down the road their kids had a poorer quality of life than U.S. kids. Their Minister of Education was jealous of our system because of the unique qualities and original thinking our children developed. I find it interesting when Michelle Rhee stated, "I have met enough students to know that their proficiency levels do not reflect their ability. I know first-hand from speaking and working with studen

ts that our poor and minority students have aptitude that rivals anyone."



So, I guess that standardized tests DO NOT tell us everything we need to know about a child's ability. One has to actually TALK to them, LISTEN to them, and THEN determine the learning capabilities of children. A perfect example of the flaws in testing as a sole means of measurement. Thus, a teacher's anecdotal, PROFESSIONAL OPINION of student achievement is INTEGRAL to reporting the quality of our schools.



Next time, instead of inviting an entire pro-corporate, pro-destroy-our-public-schools-panel, invite real experts, such as Dr. Gerald Bracey, Richard Rothstein, Susan Ohanian, Dr. David Berliner, and Dr. Gary Orfield. They would challenge the "statistics" being presented, and I'm sure many flaws could be found in today's testimonies.



Sincerely,



Joseph Lucido, Educators and Parents Against Test Abuse/CalCARE


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