"We're dispelling a lot of myths in our state about how kids can learn... and the core of all of this is assessment. . . .Without an assessment tool that has integrity that is unquestioned, you can't challenge the basic assumptions."
Some readers may find good reason to remain skeptical about Bush's absurd claim, particularly when taken together with less amateur psychometricians such as James Popham, Professor Emeritus from UCLA, who spent more than 40 years studying and developing tests. At a conference I attended recently, Popham described 90% of the tests used now to make high stakes decisions on NCLB mandates as "junk." Read an excellent interview with Jim Popham here. Popham still believes there is much to learned with good tests, but he insists that the belief in tests as the true measure of school quality is folly:
The most profound misuse of educational tests these days is to employ a traditionally constructed standardized achievement test and base the student's scores, use those scores, as a reflection of school quality. These tests should not be used to evaluate school quality. And many citizens think that should be done and many educators can't disabuse them of that notion, because they don't know better.
If Florida teachers were to believe their governor, they would never know better. Fortunately, Florida teachers are coming to understand the lunacy of the state testing policy and the conscious intellectual and emotional genocide that is being waged against children of poverty.