An Open Letter to Mr. McCliment

Recently I received a comment or response to one of my articles that addressed the notion of “Teaching to a Test.” Quite openly I’m very tired of people thinking they know  what that expression means, but folks I must share with you in all candor, not very many people, pundits, or alleged ‘experts’ have a clue.

Therefore, I decided to present the issue in totality and you can be the one’s who decide based on merits. Prior to delving straight into the “Open Letter” I gently suggest that one read the source articles before venturing into the discussion.

The first of such articles is written by Mr. Walt Gardner, a long-standing professor and lecturer at U.C.L.A. in Los Angeles, California and this is a must read. Click here to read his work

There is another article from Mr. Gardner that addresses the notion that not everyone is college bound and worse how little we in the educaiton community are doing to facilitate their strengths, please read here.

First here is the link to my previous article on the matter of “Teaching to a Test” please read here. And this is the comment I received from Mr. Michael McCliment, and I present that to you here, please read.

Dear Mr. McCliment:

I am extremely pleased that you enjoyed my position paper cum article on “Teaching to the Test.” I admire anyone who delves into the world of education insofar as most people who go around espousing their views  with so little research, information gathering, or hearsay (the latter most commonly found in gossip and rumors) are basically those who really know very, very little of what they are espousing.

Having read and reflected-and read again-I must say that with all due-respect to you, sir, that you fall into the latter category. Of the first part it is rather strikingly clear that you have a bias toward assessment media. I suspect that this is caused in part by either doing miserably on similar ‘standardized’ testing vis-a-vie S.A.T. scores, college entrance exams, or perhaps even post baccalaureate educational endeavors.

Your position becomes quite clear for the following reasons:

1. “You won’t attempt to explain why you feel it is wrong; but, you will explain why you judge it to be wrong.

2. Remotely suggesting that a ‘teaching concept’ is objectionable regarding the word “to” is lunacy.

In an attempt to dazzle your audience with empty rhetoric e.g., “…teaching a broad body of skills and knowledge on the one hand… [and] a test in the other…” means precisely what? Throughout your amateurish critique your position wanes to the degree of ignorance.

You venture into the “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) like a magician and his or her tricks. Of the eight you listed, only one had anything whatsoever to do with expressing a limit, amount, or degree. However, the real travesty is in the notion that the word “to” is only a preposition, or so you chose it to be for the sake of your opinion.

If one were to look with an open mind they would also find that there is perhaps more pages dealing with how the word “to” is also a verb, adjective, and adverb.

And finally, I believe that I left one or two different citations within the article; moreover, I know I made reference to Mr. Walt Gardner, a lecturer at U.C.L.A. for the last 28-years, who was the original author and I included a link to his further work in this subject area.

Notwithstanding all else, it is all too obvious that you did not read the invaluable information for further understanding and awareness of the education community. It is for the aforementioned that your presentation to me, and to my readers, at best is a D- (read ‘D’ minus).

Now before further embarrassing yourself, please read the assigned material then and only then will we take the time to discuss your bias, oh yes, and your grade.


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