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Sauerbrey opponent puts emphasis on school standards

July 29, 1998

Too many students are being promoted through grades when they have not learned basic skills, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles I. Ecker said Tuesday.

Ecker faces Republican Ellen Sauerbrey in a primary election on Sept. 15.

Ecker said the common attitude is that it's more important for students to feel good about themselves than about learning.

"Show me a kid who can't read and I'll show you one who doesn't have any self-esteem," Ecker said in a faxed press release.

Ecker said students need to meet the standards of each grade. If they do not meet the standards, they must go to summer school, Ecker said. If they skip summer school, they must repeat the grade, he said.

Ecker said the state does not need "elaborate tests" to measure student skills. Teachers know whether a student meets the standard, he said.

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Ecker said he would probably keep the Maryland School Peformance Assessment Program, but not add any more assessment tests.

Ecker also wants to give authority and trust back to teachers. Many teachers feel they cannot properly correct a student, Ecker said. When they do, the "teacher is on trial, not the child," said Ecker.

Dave McMillion

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