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Problems with Common Core and testing go back a long way [Letter]

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I read about the growing opposition to the Common Core standards and claims of manipulating test score data in the Maryland State Department of Education ("Senators grill educators on Common Core,"Nov. 21).

I've seen this before — it started on Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. I am not in agreement with every decision made by state School Superintendent Lillian Lowery since she took office in 2012, but it is unfair to lay all the questionable decisions and actions of the previous administration at her feet.

According to the articles I've read, the Maryland State Department of Education's decision to start excluding certain student test scores started in 1991, the year Nancy Grasmick became superintendent. This practice continues to this day.

One article stated that the year in which the exclusion could have given Maryland an unfair advantage in a national ranking of schools was 2011, Ms. Grasmick's last year as superintendent.

MSDE's exclusion of students and its justification for doing so was public knowledge, so it's difficult to understand why a practice that was allowed to go on for 20 years suddenly became a root of corruption given that the only thing that changed was the person at the helm.

Tonya Wingfield

The writer is executive director of Nehemiah's Vision Inc., an education advocacy group in Mitchellville.

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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