From Washington Post by Valerie Strauss:
More than 120 authors and illustrators of books for children including Maya Angelou, Judy Blume and Jane Yolen urged President Obama in a letter sent Tuesday to curb policies that promote excessive standardized testing and said they are alarmed about the impact on childrens love reading and literature.

The letter, delivered to the White House, was organized by The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, known as FairTest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the misuse of standardized tests. It says in part:

We are alarmed at the negative impact of excessive school testing mandates, including your administrations own initiatives, on childrens love of reading and literature. Recent policy changes by your Administration have not lowered the stakes. On the contrary, requirements to evaluate teachers on student test scores impose more standardized exams and crowd out exploration.

Angelou is noteworthy on this list not only because of her position in the literary world but because she has been a big public supporter of Obama. Other signers include Jules Feiffer, Donald Crews, Alma Flor Ada, and National Book Award winners Kathryn Erskine and Phillip Hoose.

The mention of Obamas education initiatives is in part a reference to Obamas main ed program called Race to the Top. Critics say it has extended the high-stakes testing mandates on public schools that started during the No Child Left Behind era of former president George W. Bush by insisting that student test scores be used to judge teachers through value-added methods that many experts say are unreliable and invalid.

Heres the text of the letter:

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