I think this trend is driven by two unhealthy forces. First, economic uncertainty that has created immense anxiety in parents for their children's futures. Second, a hyper-achievement culture that has forced parents to feel as if they must 'keep up with the Joneses' or they are failing their children.
It's time to ask: When the Department of Education refuses to enforce its own laws, who pays the price? Right now, the answer is simple: hundreds of thousands of students around the country. It's time for that to change -- but it won't if Secretary Arne Duncan keeps blaming Congress for his own Department's failures.
Every teacher would agree that standardized tests are imperfect measures of the complex output that is students' growth as learners and people. However, without the data that is provided by these assessments, we would have no method for seeing how our students stack up and where to revise our approach.
With the reauthorization of the absurd and dysfunctional NCLB, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. We have a chance to ignite their imaginations, encourage them to reach their full potential, and expand their world view beyond filling in bubble tests with a #2 pencil.
The Tennesseans: A Volunteer Legacy will premiere July 4 and 5 on the state's public television stations. The hour-long film is the first to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today.