"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Few Bleeps for the MEAP?

Can the insanity become any more complete? Do we have a standardized test for witches? Try this from the Detroit Free Press:

When the state releases MEAP scores this morning, much will be riding on the numbers.

Parents will try to compare districts' performances to see how their kids' schools measure up. Real estate agents will look for which areas to tout to potential buyers. Educators across Michigan will anxiously compile figures, knowing the federal No Child Left Behind legislation ties high marks to funding.

But the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test wasn't designed for any of those things. And for all the suggestions that teaching for the MEAP has helped schools, there's some evidence that students aren't doing as well as they might on college entrance exams or national assessment tests.

"We're seeing more money and resources on test preparation," said Gary Miron, chief of staff for the Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University. "Does that make our kids smarter? No, it doesn't. It makes them better able to take standardized tests."

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