The Feb. 9 editorial “Lowering the standards” said the drop in reading test scores in Virginia was a result of eliminating some Standards of Learning tests. But tests don’t make people learn. Schools and teachers do.

The blame should be on technology and schools’ emphasis on math and science education. Competitive school systems such as Loudoun, where I teach, and Fairfax have magnet schools for these subjects. But the emphasis on math and science has come at the expense of the humanities. English and history have taken a back seat, and it shows in lower reading scores.

The rise in the use of technology also has contributed to our students’ lack of literacy. Technology was supposed to aid in our children’s growth. Sophisticated online reading programs should have helped to make learning fun and engaging, but that has not been the case. Technology in the classroom has only limited students’ literacy. Children grow up with autocorrect. Their smartphone use also makes them impatient with longer texts. If you can’t tweet it, don’t read it. And the fashionable use of “book clubs” in schools gives them too much choice and less exposure to classic literature, which may be boring for them but is necessary for a literate public.

Tests serve politicians who look for data to create policy. How else should they do it? But the messy truth is that human learning cannot be quantified in that way. It takes time to develop into a good reader and efficient writer. More testing won’t fix this. Better schools and teaching will.

Sarah Jedrzejczak, Ashburn