By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For a broad view of our troubles in education, read The New York Times editorial “The Trouble With Testing Mania.”

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A decade ago schools were required to test students in math and reading, grades 3-8 yearly, and show progress in order to get federal aid. If they did not meet targets for two years, they would be labeled “needing help” and subjected to sanctions.

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Then came other testing through a competitive grant program, Race to the Top, a waiver program related to No Child Left Behind – pushing states to create teacher evaluations taking student performance into account.

The article looks at Finland’s student success, pointing to quality teacher preparation, standards and a national curriculum.

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It gives a hopeful nod to the newly adopted Common Core – with expectations of moving beyond the rote memorization to reasoning and writing skills and also supports looking beyond at advanced courses, promotion rates and college-going rates to gauge progress, not just testing.