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March 04, 2011

Teaching to test

As an educator, I found Gail Collins’ Feb. 20 column, “Texas just says ‘no’ to sex and book-learning,” very telling. We have heard so often over the years that Texas students were improving on this or that state test. Now Barbara Bush is pointing out the state’s rankings of 47th in literacy, 49th in verbal SAT scores and 46th in math scores.

Obviously, training children to answer multiple-choice test items correctly does not result in meaningful academic learning, literacy or mathematic reasoning ability. Yet teachers everywhere are obligated to “preach to the test” daily. All that’s improving are the profits of companies that produce test prep materials.

Our children are paying the price, bent over their multiple-choice worksheets learning to darken the correct little circles. No time for recess, poetry, curiosity, creative exploration or anything we used to call “developmentally appropriate.”

Anita Macek
Roeland Park



I know this won't be PC, but Texas has a lot of immigrants in the system that drag their scores down.


Here's a rebuttal of that nonsense:


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