Arizona's students are already cheated - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

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Arizona's students are already cheated

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 1:00 pm

Dear Editor:

Arizona's students are already cheated out of 10-plus days of instructional time every year so that the schools can conduct useless high-stakes testing, which, by and large, is not used in any way to try to improve instruction. Instead, the GOP legislators who insist on the spurious testing use the results to try to denigrate teachers and public education in general (and to enrich the testing companies). They gleefully compare apples and oranges for those foolish enough to believe them.

Now, ex-senator and current Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal wants to cut 10 more instructional days out of the calendar, and further hamper teachers and students from doing what they are meant to do. And when test scores drop further, Huppenthal will blame that, not on his own shortsightedness, but on his favorite whipping boy, public school employees and the Arizona Education Association. No doubt, he'll suggest we need more charter schools.

Let's try an analogy even Huppenthal should understand regarding incessant standardized testing. If a farmer wants to have good pigs for market, he feeds them adequately and makes sure they get what they need; he doesn't improve the animals by weighing them every day.

Come on John, let's get rid of the useless testing and let the teachers have that time for instruction. You'll end up with happier teachers and smarter students. Guaranteed.

Frank Bing, a retired educator

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