62° Good Afternoon
62° Good Afternoon

Letter: Big money corrupts public education, too

An empty classroom at the start of a

An empty classroom at the start of a three day weekend at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach. (Nov. 10, 2011) Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

As I read your "Mad as hell" editorial on Aug. 16, I looked in vain for a reference to another imposition of big money and corrupted politicians on little people and their angry response to it: the current mania for high-stakes testing as a club with which to beat up public education and the response in the form of the opt-out movement.

Just to put this in your format:

It's teachers and parents and students being victimized by the big money behind testing companies like Pearson Education and the charter school movement.

It's children traumatized by test questions beyond their grade level. It's teachers being judged by invalid "value added modeling" scores instead of by their administrators who know them best.

The "Quick hit" editorial on the same page, "Just too much homework," adds irony to your omission by criticizing the amount of homework given to children in lower grades. If your job depended on how the children in your care did on a standardized test over which you had no control, wouldn't you try to be sure they all did as well as possible on it?

I am a retired high school English teacher, but I am also a mother and grandmother, and I ache for the abuse that New York State's testing program -- implemented without proper preparation or teacher input, shoved down the throats of children, parents, and teachers -- is causing.

Ellen Solow Holzman, Roslyn Heights


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