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

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Which Spellings Lie Do You Prefer?

Apparently, Maggie Spellings' comments about teaching to the test being "fine and dandy" did not play very well with the focus groups, so like her boss, she simply ditched the earlier remarks in favor of another lie, while pretending the first one didn't occur. Here is the audacious fabrication she used in New York on March 15 in support of grinding down the school curriculum to what is tested so that all teaching becomes teaching to the test:

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.

Ten days later across the river in New Jersey, we get this lie, that echoes one told back to October 2005 when she talked about how testing goes all the way back to Socrates:

Spellings rejected the notion of critics who claim standardized testing has resulted in "teaching to the test" in many classrooms.

"There is no teaching to the test," Spellings said. "Testing has always been a part of the teaching enterprise since Socrates. At some point there has to be a measurement — a day of reckoning where you stand and deliver and prove what you know."

And no accountability. How ironic!

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