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.