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Your Views: Schools emphasis on testing leads to cheating, hysteria
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A guaranteed way to eliminate current school testing problems. Stop testing!

The stop testing solution sound ridicules but has merit over the current reliance on the failed testing system now in place. Even if the current system worked it, would not give the information needed to measure performance of teacher and schools.

The current flawed measurement invites cheating, not by students but worse, cheating by teachers and those on up in line. Pencil and eraser cheating is bad, especially when done by teachers, but there are more insidious cheating problems. This is a great lesson to students, isn't it?

The stated purpose of the tests in question is flawed and encourages cheating, I am sure you are aware of the erasing and upgrading of answers by the teachers, gross cheating. Using classroom teaching time to tell the children how to pass the test is another form of cheating. Giving students a leg up using questions from former tests, more cheating. Instruction on the techniques of passing test per se is also cheating.

Sadly, the current expose arose from efforts to measure the effectiveness of teachers and schools. Tests are important learning tools. Each child is preparing for their role in society. The purpose of testing should be to help each child, be they genius, normal or learning impaired, achieve maximum intellectual capacity.

Testing is not to generate numbers, but to learn what each child needs. Each student is different. Proper individualized testing can give attention to their individual needs. There are no correct or incorrect answers.

Old-fashioned report cards and more subjective tests can provide valuable answers if plotted on a bell curves. Well-trained principals should monitor the work of their school without micromanagement from above.

Let's get away form this disabling hysteria about cheating on ratings by test scores and get back to teaching our children. There is powerful competition for their minds everywhere, what is more important than an effective teaching program?

Lee S. Bowers
Gainesville

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