Tests show what teachers already know: Students’ home lives matter

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To the editor: After close to 15 years of brutal testing, results have only shown us what most educators knew going in. Although there are exceptions, the poorer a school district or individual student, the lower the scores. ("Achievement gaps widen for California’s black and Latino students," Sept. 11)

What many or most educators will also admit is that family support and investment in education will produce high results in almost any circumstance.

These two premises are all the educational realm need to know in order to address elevated performance standards for all students. Although many might disagree, low performance standards have little to do with technology, legislation, teachers and learning theory.

As in our nation when at war, lack of interest or support from the home front rarely produces a desired outcome.

Brian Miller, Los Angeles

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To the editor: For decades, we’ve been reading headlines like the one with this article, sounding the alarm about crisis after crisis in American education. Some articles herald the latest solution — which, of course, fails miserably.

The reasons are obvious, but almost nobody, least of all the educational establishment and the politicians, dare to identify those reasons: Public education is socialized education, and socialism doesn’t work.

Unless we turn over our educational system to the private sector and the free market — which reward competition, innovation and proven productivity — we’ll continue to grapple futilely with crises in American education 50 years from now.

Al Ramrus, Pacific Palisades

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