Standardized testing is not helping our children

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Reading principal Greg Taranto’s commentary (“Slay the Testing Beast: Standardized Tests Are Out of Control,” March 26 Perspectives), I find myself thinking back many years to the 1930s and the fond memories I have of being a pupil in the H.W. Mountz school in Spring Lake, N.J. It was a small Atlantic Ocean-front community where swimming was a summer-long activity.

Our school was not a middle school, like Mr. Taranto’s, but an elementary school — grades sub-primary (or kindergarten) through eighth. Fortunately, we were ahead of No Child Left Behind. We were spared tests like the PSSAs and Keystone exams.

Our tests were constructed by the teachers in each grade on the material they had taught us, with the difficulty increasing as we progressed through the grades. The teachers also graded our tests and applied a proper alphabetical symbol to indicate accomplishments, which were reported on our report cards to take home to our parents.

Those kids who were having difficulty with the material were sent to Mrs. Tilton in the library for special help.

It is shocking to learn that in Pennsylvania in 2013 we paid more than $200 million to the company responsible for the development of the Keystone exams

This profit motive is not assisting our children’s education in any way.

We should do as Mr. Taranto suggests — slay the testing beast. I have cut out the names of the organizations already engaged in this fight and will contribute to them.

CORNELIA SMOLLIN
Ross


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