Re "School testing measure advances," Sept. 11

Any California official who thought participation in the national Common Core standards would be voluntary ought to know better now.

Democratic lawmakers, Gov. Jerry Brown and the teachers unions are backing legislation in Sacramento to jettison the state's tests and adopt online Common Core testing on an accelerated basis, and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is threatening punitive action because the changeover would suspend releasing test scores for a year.

If test-happy Duncan is such an interventionist in this transitional phase, just imagine how dictatorial he and his successors will be when Common Core is fully in place. The secretary of Education will be the national school superintendent and school board all rolled into one.

This is disheartening for those who believe that education properly belongs under control of states and the people in our republic.

Robert Holland

Chicago

The writer is a senior fellow for education policy at the Heartland Institute.

Congratulations to our state legislators for backing an overhaul of our obsolete standardized tests.

Finally we are standing up to the massive sellout of America's public schools to giant testing corporations. We have spent billions just to find out that Academic Performance Index scores based on standardized tests don't change from year to year.

Schools no longer focus on preparing students for careers, healthy living or life after school. With our teach-to-the-test practices, we have forgotten that old adage that you can't fatten up a calf by weighing it.

We must return to focusing on teaching, learning and student success.

Ruby L. Trow

Whittier

ALSO:

Letters: Another Obamacare fight

Letters: Shutting off the prison pipeline

Letters: Defending California's fracking bill