Remedial work for high school graduates is widespread problem

May 13, 2011

On Wednesday, Marta Mossburg wrote that despite its No. 1 status in education, Maryland still graduates students who are lacking in basic skills and who cannot perform in college without remediation ("Maryland's uneducated graduates" May 11). Maryland is not alone in this. My home state of New York also suffers from a similar problem of increasing test scores, but more and more students attending remedial courses in college.

Ms. Mossburg claims that 10 years ago the situation was a lot better. The reason is that 10 years ago No Child Left Behind was just getting implemented and we were on the cusp of a testing frenzy that has since taken over the public schools across this nation. In the last decade school has become test preparation, leaving students with few skills beyond bubbling in answers on a scantron sheet. High scores indicate very little about what students are actually able to do, and they certainly do not help young people prepare for college. If we are serious about giving young people valuable skills, then let's abandon our high stakes testing regimen.

Jessica T. Shiller, Baltimore

The writer is education director of Advocates for Children and Youth.

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