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Standardized tests getting in the way of reading, writing and arithmetic

Some say teachers are forced to focus on PARCC tests rather than teaching students arithmetic and other basic skills.
Some say teachers are forced to focus on PARCC tests rather than teaching students arithmetic and other basic skills.

The Maryland State Department of Education recently sent out the results of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers standardized test scores (“Maryland PARCC test results confirm the need for Kirwan,” Aug. 28). Not surprisingly, the 2% gain in English was praised and the 1% loss in math was bemoaned. Also brought to our attention were the poor scores achieved by minorities, not a surprise because of our focus on standardized testing.

Because we have been “outed” for so many years by PARCC, next year our students will meet the Maryland Comprehensive Assessments Program testing developed by Maryland educators. I fear that educators proposing standardized testing, common core math, open classrooms, magnet schools, etc. are not allowing our teachers to teach students reading, writing and arithmetic and to balance checkbooks, make change, write a letter, fill out a job application, make a shopping list, or make a household budget.

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Sorry, time for my nap. I am tired of trying to figure out the skill set required for college and careers readiness.

Phil Southworth, Odenton

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