Letter: This once, eliminate school tests

A photo of a scantron test sheet.

A photo of a scantron test sheet. (Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas)

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What awaits our young children now that they are back in their classrooms ["School must come first," News, Nov. 27]? Sadly, they will find themselves tossed into the grueling, pressure-filled work of preparing for state assessments.

While we all accept that the high-stakes testing train left the station more than 10 years ago, maybe a slight course correction is in order. I think that the storm of a lifetime ought to compel our leaders in the state capital to consider a one-year moratorium on state testing, at least for elementary students.

Let's give our youngest, most vulnerable victims of superstorm Sandy some time to learn one of life's enduring lessons: In times of disaster, we join together as families, friends and communities to rebuild, to heal and to understand the fragile nature of our lives. This is an example of high-level critical thinking that will never be covered on any standardized test.

Michael Cohen, Brightwaters

Editor's note: The writer is a retired school superintendent and an adjunct associate professor at Hofstra University.

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