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Letter: Common Core and English teaching

Scores for Long Island students in grades three

Scores for Long Island students in grades three through eight who took the Common Core state exams in the spring of 2015 rose modestly this year compared to last, according to the New York State Education Department. Look up scores by district here. But that only tells part of the story. Long Island also had more than 46 percent of eligible students refuse to take state tests -- far higher than the state average -- according to Newsday's reporting. Look up opt-out rates for local districts here Photo Credit: NEWSDAY / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

I’m glad that columnist Anne Michaud “exhaled with relief” when her daughter showed the same scores on the old SAT and the redesigned PSAT [“SAT enters the Common Core era,” Opinion, Jan. 14].

However, in my years as an English teacher, I’ve seen the test change many times. The antonyms were deleted, then analogies were scrapped, and now sentence completions are gone. But the bottom line remains the same: Kids who read often in various genres and for pleasure will do well on the SAT.

If anything, the Common Core, with its restrictions, inhibits teachers and students from reading widely and enjoying literature in the school curriculum.

Bill Toumey, Long Beach