The tests are invalid, the results are invalid, the motives behind them; nothing short of sinister, and the pain and suffering caused by all of this is inexcusable. The fact that it has gone on this long and Bill Gates has the arrogance and audacity to think that teachers, students and parents are going to continue to put up with this is because the pushback from teachers and parents has not been strong enough.
If you are going to have taxpayer funded schools, then you need schools that are locally controlled by the communities they serve. You need locally elected school boards who are held to the standard of nothing less than 100% transparency for all related actions. I wish the reformers would try selling the Brooklyn Bridge, then more people might actually notice they are being scammed .
This is deeply troublesome. When did denying children a FAPE become both legal and profitable?
This is the reality of Workforce Development and the shift from inquiry based learning and classical education. The tests and the rest of the garbage aren’t just for money making (although they are very, very good at this.) They also help to foster in a planned economy. I propose that this is why you now see so many deserving students denied opportunities, like advanced math, or pushed in one direction instead of another. Who’s doing the planning? It certainly isn’t the parents, students and teachers; the real stakeholders.
Below is a great piece by Emily Talmage. Reading it, I couldn’t help but be reminiscent of my exchange with New Hampshire’s Board of Education chair, Tom Raffio. It went something like this:
(Credit for the above photo goes to an anonymous testing company whistle blower.)
To be fair, it actually went more like this:
“Just to be clear, Londonderry has not rejected SBAC, which is a great advance over previous tests. But whatever test is used, you’re right, teaching to the test is a waste of time. It’s not helpful for students or teachers. Parents want what’s best for their kids and a good test helps them get that. The new tests are an improvement and now help parents get the information they need. And the tests help students learn by asking them to apply their knowledge to new problems. Students no longer fill in the blanks. They demonstrate that they understand the material.” – Tom Raffio
Rehearsed and overly formulaic; at least they’re predictable.
This is fantastic.