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In Bob Friedrich’s March 1-7 On Point column “Underperforming Queens schools should be shuttered,” the author misses the point about the objections to the extreme emphasis on standardized test preparation in our local public schools.
As parents like me are aware, the city Department of Education’s continual focus on test scores, to the exclusion of all that is meaningful in education, has been a disaster for the students of eastern Queens. Incessant test preparation drills have deadened the curriculum and made standardized tests a ceiling rather than a floor for what goes on in too many classrooms.
Friedrich says complaints of this nature stem from the United Federation of Teachers, but as a father who is in our public schools all the time, I know it is local parents who have deep concerns about how constant test preparation detracts from the real learning children should be doing.
I have spoken to hundreds of parents about this issue, and I have yet to find one who supports the test preparation obsession.
Using tests to evaluate student achievement is reasonable, but allowing the tests to drive instruction and dominate classroom activity is not.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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