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Standardized testing harms early learning

It looks like those “white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought” (U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan) have waited for decency long enough. The common call for a halt to the standardized testing mania and blatant corporate largess oozing out of federal competitive grant funding from No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top is being buried by the living.

All the platitudes of higher standards, raising the bar, excellence and fears of crisis sound strangely like the buildup to the Iraq War based on the supposed weapons of mass destruction. Both the Common Core state standards and the wars rooted in 9/11 are failures.

Love those moms. They aren’t going to be lied to about the future for their children. They know that a successful college experience requires a disciplined mind and personal fortitude. Standardized testing puts profits into Pearson Inc. coffers but kills those early years of learning – and when over, they’re over forever. Our nation is at risk because Wall Street moguls defraud, our military undermines security and our leaders look to avoid expensive solutions to complex social problems. What’s common at our core is our universal humanity.

Ray Peterson

Buffalo