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

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Weighing the animal vs. feeding it: Published in the NY Times

Too Much Testing
Feb 8, 2012, New Tork Times

To the Editor:

One article in The Times described the profound problems children are facing in school because of the economy (“Teacher, My Dad Lost His Job. Do We Have to Move?,” On Education column, Jan. 31). Another described the conflict over whether beginning teachers will be fired when New York cuts the education budget (“Bloomberg Presses Cuomo on Teacher Seniority Rule,” news article, Jan. 31). Articles also appear regularly about cutbacks in public and school libraries.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Education is spending huge sums for increasing testing far beyond the already unacceptable amount done under No Child Left Behind. According to the department’s Blueprint, as well as speeches by Arne Duncan, the education secretary, it is planning interim tests during the year and is encouraging testing all subjects, not just reading and math. It also intends to measure growth, which could mean pre- and post-tests each year.

The Department of Education clearly thinks that weighing the animal more frequently is more important than feeding it.

Stephen Krashen
Los Angeles, Feb. 1, 2011

The writer is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

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