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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 1/12/2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Law fails to note differences in learning

Your Dec. 19 editorial “Whose guarantee?”, about holding back third-graders if they don’t reach a certain level in reading by a prescribed time, misses a key point: Ohio’s reading guarantee law forces children into testing that equates to failure. It doesn’t recognize that children learn at different levels and at different times.

If we were to line up a third-grade class in the school gym to race from one wall to the opposite wall, not all will arrive at the other side at the same time. It is the same with reading and other academics.

Given proper instruction, all children will learn. However, they never will learn an equal amount, nor learn in the same amount of time. To expect sameness in learning skill is to force failure.

Older people of today and yesteryear were never subjugated to such early testing, yet sent men to the moon and developed electronics, medical wonders, monster machinery, and a tunnel under the Detroit River.

The only thing today’s testing has accomplished is millions, if not billions, of dollars going to the test publishing industry. It is also clear how little test makers and politicians know about child growth and development, or how to make positive changes in our education goals.

DONALD THURBER

LaSalle, Mich.



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