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Standardized Testing Is Failing Our Students

September 01, 2002

I am eyeing with confusion four separate tests that my third-grade stepson took this last school year. The Stanford 9 test indicates that he is far below basic in math and at grade level in reading. The California state achievement test indicates he is far below basic in reading and at grade level in math. He was tested one-on-one at the Sylvan Learning Center, where he was being tutored, and again one-on-one by the school district psychologist to see if he qualified for special education services. Both of the individually administered tests indicate that he is right at grade level.

What am I to garner from these results? I know he is not the most motivated of learners, and I believe he didn't put forth his best efforts on the standardized tests, but when an actual person was asking the questions he did try. The standardized tests not only don't reflect his true skills (as well as many other students'), they drag down the overall scores of his school and make his teacher look like she didn't do her job well (which I can assure you she did). They are a complete waste of our tax money and deprive our children of two weeks of school days that would be better used for instruction, not worthless testing.

I am a former teacher, and I and anyone else who has ever taught can affirm that standardized tests are a sham foisted upon schools by politicians seeking to further their own agendas.

Judd St. John

Fontana

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