Good riddance to Md.'s No. 1 education ranking [Letter]

Now that Maryland's Education Week status has had time to sink in across the state ("We're No. ?," Jan. 9), I hope that the school board will finally realize that we need to look at other factors besides test scores. Our state has been stuck on numbers for too long. It's about time that Maryland is no longer able to fall back on its "No. 1" status because competing for "No. 1" in testing is a 1990s mentality and means nothing today.

We need to ask ourselves: Are our children prepared for the future? How many kids are completing college? How many are unemployed? These are the measurements we really need to use to determine if we are providing a good quality education for our students. Unfortunately, schools are preparing students for exams, and not for their future. We need to start teaching skills of the 21st century, such as organizational skills, critical thinking and executive functions to provide children with the right type of education they need to succeed in life — and not just on exams. Perhaps now thanks to Education Week, we have the motivation.

Ben Shifrin, Baltimore

The writer is head of Jemicy School in Owings Mills and vice president of the International Dyslexia Association.

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