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High stakes tests have a place. (Letters).

How unfortunate that your January cover story takes the typical anti-testing position. Instead of seeing tests as a challenge and learning experience, students, parents, and teachers fear tests for what the tests might show--that they aren't as smart as they'd like to think.

Certainly, the tests are not perfect. But our role as educators should be to improve standardized testing, not dismiss it.

The story highlights the following statement: "The children see reading as a testing situation. They're not going to pick up novels as adults." Based on what? Please, tell us!

Recently, a student told me our state testing was irrelevant. "I'll never have to take a test like that in real life!" This 17-year-old wizard had obviously never heard of bar or CPA exams, medical boards, even certification tests for auto mechanics.

As professionals, we need to move beyond bad-mouthing, scare tactics, and half-truths and work constructively to improve testing in our schools. We need our union to do the same.

Donald Ukrainec
Trenton, Michigan
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Author:Ukrainec, Donald
Publication:NEA Today
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Words:167
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