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OpinionLetters

Letter: 'Appalling' call to boycott school tests

A file photo of school buses.

A file photo of school buses. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

In "A call to boycott Common Core" [News, Nov. 20], education expert Diane Ravitch urges Long Island school districts to boycott the state Common Core curriculum and to refuse to administer state tests. I am appalled at Ravitch's call for a boycott.

I was an English and journalism teacher for 28 years in a Long Island high school. I retired 13 years ago.

More than 40 percent of students entering community colleges have to take remedial courses in English and math. Isn't this an example of taxpayer money being wasted, if these students' skills are inadequate for community college?

A friend has a daughter who attended high school where the district superintendent opposes the Common Core tests. Her high school daughter received a B on an essay that a third-grader could have written. Where is that teacher's accountability? Administering state tests and including whether a teacher's students made any progress during a year would provide some accountability.

Schools are under political pressure from homeowners to give students inflated scores to make the community look good so property values are high. This pressure filters down to teachers, especially English and social studies teachers, whose grades are based on essays that test communication skills.

The Common Core curriculum and tests ask students to demonstrate better communication, problem solving and mathematical skills. To protest this goal is not common sense.

Carol Swenson, Lake Grove
 

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