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TEACHING, TESTING

Twenty-first-century college, career, and civic participation requires critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills difficult to assess with a standardized test reliant upon multiple-choice items and short open-response questions (“Building a Better Test,” June 12). Eight school districts (Attleboro, Bourne, Framingham, Lowell, Ludlow, Revere, Somerville and Winchester) and local teacher unions have formed the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA) to create a cross-district assessment system to determine student academic progress and school quality. We need to reconceptualize assessment rather than tinker to refine a testing model that is no longer useful in furthering public education.

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Stacy Scott / Superintendent, Framingham Public Schools

Erik Fearing / President, Revere Teachers Association

Dan French / Executive Director, Center for Collaborative Education

On behalf of the MCIEA

I was a Title I math teacher for a couple of years in Methuen. For those who say, “We shouldn’t have to teach to the test,” I say, “If the test accurately reflects what the students in that grade MUST learn, then YES, you should teach to the test.”

Robert Shapiro / Andover

POLITICS AT BRUNCH

Sybil Sage should be proud of her nephew’s strength and open-mindedness despite having to visit with an intolerant, judgmental aunt who mocks his ideas publicly (Connections, June 12). “Middle-child syndrome” as an “excuse” for a political view different from her own? Childish.

Brigitte Beauchesne / Dracut

I loved this essay. It was hilarious and wise, and one does need humor to get through this strange and potentially dangerous political time. I may not have been as forgiving as Sage if a family member of mine were backing Donald Trump, who seems so psychologically unsuited and intellectually unprepared for the job of president.

Annie Reiner / Los Angeles


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