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Letter: Test, U.S. student rank questioned

People cheer and hold signs during a rally

People cheer and hold signs during a rally against Common Core held at the Tilles Center in Brookville on March 9, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The writer of "Parents and schools, work together" [Letters, April 6], does not seem to grasp the full impact of the Common Core testing. There is no shortage of valid reasons why many teachers question the value of these measures for assessing both students and teachers.

Moreover, I don't believe that parents are worried their children will be challenged; they are worried that valuable learning experiences are being sacrificed for politics, data-gathering and private-sector profits.

The writer's references to the Program for International Student Assessment are equally misinformed. A comprehensive analysis by Stanford University and the Economic Policy Institute said, "When differences in countries' social class and compositions are adequately taken into account, the performance of U.S. students in relation to students in other countries improves markedly," and, "the gap between U.S. students and those from the highest-achieving countries would be cut in half in reading and by at least a third in math."

Is there room for improvement in schools? Of course. It behooves each of us, however, to listen to the concerns of those who work most closely with our children. We should also be discussing the increasing educational hardships caused by poverty and income inequality.

Katherine Curcio-Payne, Seaford

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.


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