"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Wrong Cuts

The wrong cuts
Published in the Herald Times (Bloomington, Indiana)
Feb. 19, 2010
To the editor:
The proposed budget cuts in education (“MCCSC: Teaching, librarian and coaching jobs cut, no summer school, Aurora to be moved,” Feb. 12) are typical of what is going on nationwide, and are a tragedy that need not happen.
In order to save $4.5 million, MCCSC is eliminating crucial and important programs, while the state continues to spend education dollars on expenditures that harm students.
For example: The plans include eliminating librarians while research shows that the presence of credentialed school librarians is related to increased reading scores.
At the same time, Indiana has a high school exit exam that costs the state about $450 million per year, over $400 per student. Studies of high school exit exams show that they are useless: They do not lead to higher employment, higher earnings, or improved academic achievement. In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam.
We are spending money on measuring the problem, not solving it.
Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles, Calif.

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