LETTERS: Senator Alexander is wrong -- the issue is not 'feds v states'

Is the issue Feds vs. States? Lamar Alexander says: "Most of the controversy that exists today is the result of Washington getting involved [in state education policy] over the last six or seven years." (

Stephen Krashen has written some of the most important books and studies about how children learn to read and love reading -- and it's not by devoting their time to so-called "standardized" tests, but by growing up in a "print rich environment" which could be provided to every child in the USA for much less than is being wasted on corporate tests and computerized learning programs.I disagree. Whether the standards and tests come from the feds or the states, there is still

(1) too much testing;

(2) no evidence that the standards and tests will help students and no effort to find out if they have worked in the past or will help in the future;

(3) no need for the fanatic focus on standards and tests: There is overwhelming evidence that poverty is the problem, not a lack of standards and tests;

(4) far far far too much money going into the tests, money that is badly needed elsewhere.

States that don't do the common core or who have rejected it typically have their own version of testing hell. Stephen Krashen


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