October 24, 2020

Published: November 1, 2004


Far Afield

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“Permanent Vacation” [Comment, August/September] seemed to convey the message that our goal as educators is to teach children how to pass tests. In this age of high-stakes testing, it is hard not to focus on the emphasis placed on tests; however, should that be our goal as educators? Should our students be shuffled though school with the sole purpose of passing a test, a test that will not even matter to them as they move on in life? Our goal as educators should be to guide students on the path of knowledge. We should provide our students, no matter their background, with an enriching environment to learn in. If we provide our students with a variety of experiences, they are more likely to retain and apply the information taught through high-stakes tests. By providing both real-life experiences and guidance in the classroom (including test-taking strategies), we give our students [the ability] to soar, both on tests and in life.

Kristi Iverson
Rancho Cordova, California

Cathy Sproul, you’ve given me the inspiration to—once and for all—fight all of the obstacles to travel that have prevented me from taking my suburban Atlanta, African American 8th graders overseas. My fight will begin with your column. Thanks for your brilliant piece of sarcasm! I just hope the powers that be here “get it” and don’t take it as evidence of why we shouldn’t go. Surely school administrators can’t be that simple-minded, can they?

Scott Wilson
Stone Mountain, Georgia

Vol. 16, Issue 03, Pages 5-6

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