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

Friday, March 24, 2006

An Immodest Proposal

The Headline Award this week has to go to Chris Parker at the Bennington Banner with this one for a story about results from the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program: NECAP Hobbles County's Students. Here is a clip:

Cate said he was pleased with the statewide results overall but noted there were clear achievement gaps between boys and girls, and between students from low-income families and their peers. Girls and students not eligible for free and/or reduced lunch generally outperformed their counterparts.

The tests are required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Here's my proposal:

Since the IRS obviously needs cash (and plans to get it by hiring mercenaries to collect back taxes), let's pay the IRS to provide the testing companies with current income information on every child-rearing family in America. The testing companies can then issue an EON (Education Opportunity Number) based on the reported family incomes, and each year the EONs can be adjusted as incomes go up or down. We can continue to pay the testing companies incredible amounts of tax receipts for reporting these numbers to us, and these EONs will serve the same traditional punish-the-poor and reward-the-rich functions of high-stakes tests. Any economically-challenged student who disagrees with his designated CRAPP (Comprehensive Rewards and Punishment Program) score has the right to appeal by taking one of our current tests that is scaled to assure that she has little chance of passing.

Besides the obvious political advantages associated with continued support for the testing industry, the great advantage of such a system would be realized in maintaining our world-class standards for social engineering Caucasian economic and social dominance. A side benefit that may accrue would be realized, perhaps, as teachers return to teaching and students to learning.

This proposed reform does not address the continuing need to privatize K-12 education, which the current NCLB system of blaming the schools for EONs has worked to accomplish so effectively thus far. I would suggest that the fellows of Cato, Heritage, Manhattan, and Fordham (Foundation) give this top priority before writing any checks for op-eds in support of CRAPP.

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