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More testing does not equal better schools or students | READER COMMENTARY

Hickory Elementary School first-grade teacher Lauren Byrd, left, gives a fist bump to student Scott Wheeler for his great story introduction as the class works on ther introduction writing in their classroom Tuesday April 27, 2021. Ms. Byrd is the 2021 Harford County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. (Matt Button/The Aegis).
Hickory Elementary School first-grade teacher Lauren Byrd, left, gives a fist bump to student Scott Wheeler for his great story introduction as the class works on ther introduction writing in their classroom Tuesday April 27, 2021. Ms. Byrd is the 2021 Harford County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. (Matt Button/The Aegis). (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

Why do proponents of education testing always cite poor testing metrics to defend the need for more testing? Margery Smelkinson’s commentary, “A call for accountability in Maryland’s mishandling of education amid the pandemic” (May 7), argues for more testing as the pathway to improving education. It’s a story we’ve heard before: We have to test so that we know what kids need for the tests.

No! Kids need care. They need tutelage. They need compassion, patience and inspiration. Not one person highlights their schooling with a story about taking a test. Yet we continue this decades-long narrative that testing is going to save schools. Testing is sapping the energy and will from teachers and students alike. There’s a teacher shortage in this country, and it’s not because we aren’t giving enough tests.

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Imagine if you took your car to your mechanic and every time you spoke with him he related that your car failed the test and the solution was another test. It would be no wonder why your car didn’t work. Your mechanic was forever testing and never actually fixing your car.

Give teachers the time, energy and space to do their jobs and maybe our kids will be happier and perform better.

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Adam Sutton, Towson

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