Sue McGrory’s commentary (Mailbag, Dec. 15) on the “Culture of testing harmful to students” was ripe with new lame excuses and void of any accountability.

Are those in education too close to the forest to see the trees? I have to wonder about the statistic of 51 percent of students who are economically disadvantaged. I am not sure where this number comes from; it may be a cousin to the 45 percent of students on a free or reduced lunch.

From what I have heard, no income verification is done to receive free lunch and participation in the program is highly encouraged because the district receives more federal dollars. So now this number of 51 percent is paraded out, and the implication is that students are harmed by testing?

We can’t force tests on students because it’s just too stressful seems to be the new mantra. Well, tests are touch points to verify if teaching methods have been successful. The end goal is graduation, a fact that seems to be lost.

Public school educators have 12 long years to prepare students for graduation. Argue all you want about tests being unfair or stressful, but please explain why Oregon ranks third from the bottom nationally in graduation. Then please do something to raise Oregon from the bottom of the list. Taxpayers funding public education want accountability.

We have been in the “business” of public education for the last 100 years. How can the best process and curriculum not be known? Think about all the improvements that have happened in the last 100 years, and yet we still don’t know how to educate students to a proficiency to graduate? It’s shameful and that effort deserves an “F”!

John Robinson

Albany (Jan. 7)

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