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Letters: Evaluating teachers, over-testing

An undated file photo of an empty classroom.

An undated file photo of an empty classroom. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Regarding the opinion piece by Robert Ricken ["Testing dulls the art of teaching," June 7] and a letter writer on the same day ["Teacher evaluation is a 'gotcha' program"], I was privileged to have an assistant principal who worked, with his decade of experience, turning what we learned in college into practical skills for the classroom.

Ricken urges state officials, school administrators, teacher representatives and parents to develop a course of action. Also, I suggest that we ask students after graduation to give their opinions.

At the end of each year of classroom teaching, I asked my students to write their thoughts on how well I taught them. They didn't include their names. I threw away the praising notes, but saved the critical ones. Those were better than any evaluation from anyone.

Vincent D. Murphy, Smithtown

Testing not only dulls the art of teaching, but also the art of learning. Robert Ricken hit many important points about educational reform. I call it educational deform!

I am the mother of a 10-year-old boy who has amazing teachers. I have seen his education go from rich and well-rounded to test preparation. I am beyond angry! I want control of what goes on in my child's classroom returned to the educators in my community. Officials in Albany or Washington have no clue who my son is and what he needs.

My family has decided to opt my son out of all state, field and evaluative testing. It is not fair, and it is not valid.

I will not vote for lawmakers who don't fight to get our classrooms returned to educators. Parents had better wake up.

Marla Kilfoyle, Bellmore


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