From the Daily News:
The country's education czar strongly defended standardized testing yesterday, telling a group of New Yorkers, "Good education has always been about good testing."
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said tests are based on skills that kids need and teachers must teach.
"Teaching to the test is fine and dandy, keep on," she added in response to a question at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting in midtown.
A hallmark of the president's No Child Left Behind Act, high-stakes tests are now mandated for kids in grades 3 to 12 as one measure of their progress.
But the testing movement has encountered fierce opposition from many city parents who complain that schools are becoming testing factories where kids aren't thriving.
Many educators, however, including Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, support testing. "While tests may not always be the perfect measure of progress, in the end I'm convinced that they are the best we have," Klein wrote in a March 1 memo to principals.
He also urged teachers to drill students for state exams, drawing howls from anti-testing groups and the teachers union.
"Kids lose out," said Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, "when every bit of focus is simply on how high you can make the English and math scores."