Automatically holding back students in the third grade who fail to pass the state-mandated tests is a misguided policy. Not all students learn at the same pace. Arbitrary tests alone can't measure academic progress. We'll end up with a glut of students held in place in the third grade, overwhelming schools and classrooms. The mental anxiety and emotional damage to the students could scar them and sour them on education. I fear we will lose them forever.
While I understand the impetus for measuring students' progress, we'd be better served if legislators consulted with teaching experts and left the classroom metrics to those who are trained to understand and evaluate children.
Ronnie Keaton, Oklahoma City