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Cheating on School Tests

October 02, 1988

In response to " 'Teaching to the Test': Dim Ethical Area for Educators," Part I, Sept. 19:

As a former elementary school teacher in L.A.'s inner city, I can attest to the importance placed upon standardized testing. If we familiarize a student with the test format, bravo! If we present our students with multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions such as on the test, great! We are equipping the students properly.

What do we think they are doing in San Diego County? These pupils know exactly what to expect. If we review skills beforehand is this unethical? Please! We are teaching that which the state and the creators of the test want the student to know.

I am disappointed by the so-called "experts" on testing who are clearly afraid that all schools will employ San Diego County's successful program of test-wiseness. There is a clear conflict between educators who seek to improve the status of the underprivileged and test makers who serve the status quo. If all inner-city kids suddenly achieved as their counterparts have in San Diego County, there would be an uproar and the test scores invalidated.

PAUL OCTAVIO BOUBION

Monterey Park

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