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06 October 2013 @ 07:45 am
Missing in Action  
I have written much lately about the coverage of education and "reform," in particular how journalists are covering said issue. Here is a piece from July: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/opinion/sunday/the-trouble-with-testing-mania.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0. Please note that the same old misinformation is present here including the NCTQ report. Read the entire piece, but save some strength for the concluding paragraph: "Congress could ease some of the test mania by rethinking the way schools are evaluated under No Child Left Behind. Test scores are important to that process, but modest weight should be given to a few other indicators, like advanced courses, promotion rates, college-going rates and so on. Similarly, the states that have allowed the districts to choke schools with the diagnostic tests and data collection could reverse that trend so that schools have perhaps one or two higher-quality tests per year. In other words, the country needs to reconsider its obsession with testing, which can make education worse, not better."

Note the alternatives to test scores, please. How does enrollment in advance classes indicate that one school is better than another? How does the percentage of kids gong off to college a good indicator (unless you follow that up also with graduation from college rates and even then...). Promotion rates? None of these, not one, indicates the success of the school. Indeed, the percentage of kids in AP classes, those going on to college, and promotion and graduation rates have been increasing. But that does not mean "reforms" have worked. As a matter of fact, this article would have readers believe that past reforms were pointless (look at how it excoriates NCLB testing). Also please note there is some teacher bashing going on here though it is subtle (see reference to teachers' fear of being evaluated based on test scores).

Where is the discussion of measurements other than tests? MIA. So much is MIA in this RttT-CCSS-NCLB waivers-educational reform movement.
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