The Sun's recent editorial regarding student testing ("Md. should skip the MSA," Sept. 17) offered thought-provoking insight, yielding additional perspective. Citizens are already advised that test scores will flatten next year as they did this year. No Child Left Behind has been underfunded, students may not be taught Maryland School Assessment material but will receive MSA testing, and the Core Curriculum asks teachers to teach critical thinking without specific guidelines as to how to do so. Education majors study lesson planning, not curriculum development and implementation, although their teacher evaluations and their jobs will depend on teaching Core Curriculum well.

Further the Core Curriculum is not a uniform program as it varies from state to state and may vary within the state. Furthermore, it may crowd time from teaching the basic foundation of academic and life skills, such as avoiding teen pregnancy, substance abuse and credit card debt.

The theories may be promising, but the reality is that it may take years to solidify into a program to benefit all that require a useful education. The moment when legislators realize this is likely when those who require sold basic skills will receive them.

Hilda Coyne, Baltimore