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Quality Education vs. the Number Crunchers

July 31, 2001

"Success by the Numbers for AP English Teachers" (letters, July 27) shows the seeming foolishness of the principal and assistant superintendent in Culver City. When more students are taking rigorous courses and more are passing the AP exam, this seems like a real success story, thanks to two very hard-working teachers. The percentage passing, which is lower, seems irrelevant to the real story.

This is, however, a warning regarding the federal education bill, which is being considered in Congress. One of its main characteristics is annual testing. Will similar percentage rules punish those who are doing more work and having more success--as are the AP teachers in Culver City? With pay and job security at risk, will we actually diminish the quality of teaching and learning by the ignorant use of numbers?

This story should be a wake-up call for all of us who care about our public schools.

Catherine G. Burke

San Gabriel

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