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Letters To The Editor

January 13, 2014

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 13, 2014

Good people

TO THE EDITOR: There are good people in the North Country.

On Thursday, Jan. 2, at about 1:30 p.m., I was riding my bicycle on Point au Fer.

A maroon pickup truck went by, stopped, then backed up next to me. Two gentlemen, neither of whom I recognized, asked if I needed a ride (because of an emergency).

It was cold and breezy, but I was OK, so I thanked them, and they continued on their way.

Their kindness and consideration is very much appreciated.

HENRY VAN ACKER

Rouses Point 

+++++

Evaluation alternatives

TO THE EDITOR: Prompted by the contents of letters distributed Oct. 24 and Dec. 30 to “colleagues” by Education Commissioner King, I feel compelled to take issue by trying to explain some of what all this stuff is based on.

Ever since the turn of the 20th century, when Edward Thorndike became known for his experiments with the automatic associative learning capabilities of animals, a like-minded behaviorist theory of learning has been applied to humans, and the concept has permeated the educational landscape.

Given the present obsession with standardized tests (the aftermath of Thorndike’s work), you might think there are no effective alternatives to measure what has been learned — a clearly misguided premise. This mind set, however, has been so embedded in the psyches of the public, they seldom see the fallacies of this. 

To standardize means to set a standard. The issue with the current Common Core standards is not that standardizing is wrong; it’s about standards being based on assumptions about individual human beings that are known to be incorrect or incomplete.

Behaviorism is the prime example because it essentially ignores our unique higher-thought processes, namely, synthesizing and critical/creative evaluation. Since outcomes from these cognitive processes are unique to each of us, they cannot be measured by a one-size-fits-all standardized test.

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