There are just as many states using the same misguided strategies who made few or no gains as there were reformy states making big gains. If test-and-punish strategies work, why don't they work everywhere?
Seniors are starting to put the final touches on some of their college applications, which means it's time to look at some of the small details that, taken together, can make a difference in the way your application will be reviewed.
Last Spring, my very intelligent 13-year-old daughter came home and told me she took this very hard statewide test. "Daddy, I had to skip eight questions. We didn't even learn that stuff. Why would they test that?"
Standardized testing should not have the overwhelming influence on education that it does. A good teacher knows when her/his students are doing well. Good teachers can create a curriculum and assessments that meet the needs of their students.
This is not the first time the Times has uncritically conflated something as comprehensive as "a better education" with something as singular as student reading and math scores. I imagine it won't be the last.
As juniors put together and review their college lists, it makes sense to talk about one of the most misunderstood parts of the college application process -- testing. Follow this advice, and all the details that drive other students crazy will fall into place for you.
Sometimes classroom educators must use their "Teacher Voice" to restore sanity. That's what is happening in Chicago, where striking public school teachers are shouting "enough is enough" to test-driven school reform schemes.
For too long as a state we have refused to appropriately link teacher and principal evaluations to student test scores, the very thing this sort of bill like AB 5 could be accomplishing. Even a third-grader could tell you it deserves an "F".
If we believe that education is "the next great civil rights issue of our time," then we ought to be enabling the 'human capital' now in the profession to succeed (while weeding out those who, after help, cannot cut the mustard).
Imagine it's early morning, 20 minutes after the school bus was expected. You are waiting with your children when an old yellow clunker, its rear emergency door hanging open, weaves toward you. The driver has a pint of whiskey in one hand.