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Letters: Driving schools to cheat

August 29, 2012

Re "A disheartening lesson," Column, Aug. 25

A cheating scandal involving standardized tests should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following what has been happening to our public schools.

The fear that exists in our schools hangs over students, teachers and administrators like a death shroud. When I came into education 26 years ago the question we were asking was how do I turn my students on to learning. Today the question is how do I get students to pass the test.

Campbell's Law states, "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor." As more of our schools are turned over to corporate chains like Crescendo charter schools, the less likely it will be that our schools will improve.

Garret Virchick

Boston

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