Louisiana, and the United States, could take a lesson from Finland, where public school students are consistently among the highest-scoring ones in the world. They are also among the least tested students. The lesson is that you don’t have to test every student to know how well students, teachers and schools are performing. A statistical sample will do.

The money saved by cutting back on unnecessary testing could be invested in teacher development and in providing the resources to create an inclusive, diversified system that develops the capabilities of all children. The biggest challenge would be preventing the money saved from being diverted into crony projects unrelated to education. That would be difficult, but it can be done. Let your legislators know.

Mattie F. Coxe

geographer

Baton Rouge