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Letter: Education evaluation

Allow me, please, to keep this simple.

Even if we eliminated all testing today, Barbara Madeloni would still be very disappointed when she tries “to introduce young people to the imaginative world of literature and its capacity to grow empathy, creativity, critical thinking and a sense of life’s possibilities” as expressed in her letter of Jan. 29.

Madeloni writes as a high school teacher. I see her following standard thinking on reading and writing. The child of parents who hated school or had poor outcomes generally do not even read to their youngest children. Too many children arrive at pre-school or kindergarten with very limited verbal skills and no familiarity with the concept of a book.

The statistics on our own local poverty are sad but not the whole story. Subtract the poverty group and you will also see similar problems with reading. She is missing how visual are today’s children with all the available electronics. Even private schools are seeing the change in reading (lack of) habits across our society.

Horace Mann in 1847 thought education would eliminate poverty. After 50 years of pursuing the “democratic ideal,” is it time to re-evaluate?

MARGUERITE MORRIS WILLIS

(Author of “A Grandmother’s Essays on Education”)

Charlemont

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