Your View: Tests are a good measure of student competence unless they make the school system look bad


To the editor:

It comes as no shock that Alexandria students had the lowest test scores in Northern Virginia. After all, it was only short time ago that a national study identified our school system as the single most financially inefficient (worst student performance per dollar invested) system in the entire country. 

It is also no surprise that Alexandria public schools Superintendent Morton Sherman immediately dismissed these latest test results. Why is it that academics rely on tests to evaluate students on a daily basis, yet dismiss the value of tests whenever it opens the door to criticism of their own performance? Have you ever heard an academic criticize a test that paints them in a good light? I dont think so.      

Mr. Shermans sour grapes are merely the sound of hypocrisy as our appointed and elected leaders once again shirk any responsibility for their repeated incompetence.

We must seek new and efficient solutions instead of ignoring the problem, criticizing legitimate tests, mumbling weak excuses or throwing away more tax dollars on failed, shopworn, programs that protect the incompetent and foster nonproductive bureaucracies.  

We can and must do better. Our children deserve it.