Objections to Standardized Testing

In the Opinion page column "Teaching Is a Universal Responsibility," Feb. 5, the author's argument against standardized testing would be bolstered by a reading of Jonathan Kozol's book "Savage Inequalities." Mr. Kozol, like the author, questions the overall damage done to the student through the use of standardized tests.

Education, by its very nature, must engage the mind of the student; the introduction of diverse material is paramount to the intellectual growth of the student. If teaching becomes burdened with administrative practices, we will do a disservice to our youth. John G. Balboni, Worcester, Mass. Iraqis want Saddam out

The Opinion page article Why Are You Doing This to Us? Feb. 10, is the discourse of deception.

The author's article allows for no genuine Iraqi voices. Also, she says nothing about Saddam's continued savagery against the Kurds of the north and the Arabs of the south.

More painfully, the author absolves Saddam of any responsibility for bringing so much suffering upon the poor people of Iraq.

As one who lived long enough under Saddam's regime and experienced its barbarity first hand, I can say with certainty that the Iraqi people are not saying to America "Please lift the sanctions"; rather, they are saying "Please help us get rid of the monster that you in part created." Ahmed Salar, Russell, Ky. Population growth and land loss

Regarding the article "Tracts Gobble Up US Produce Basket," Feb. 19: The destruction of the best agricultural land is continuing here in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico and in many other places.

The population of the world is increasing at a rate of 90 million per year. Covering the best farmland with houses and roads is inappropriate. To preserve important resources, population growth must be reduced. Steven C. Hill, Las Cruces, N.M.

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