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

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to Testing Time, or Is There More to School?

Editorial from the L. A. Daily News:
It's that time of year again. The API scores have been released to the public, just in time for kids to go back to school. Anxiety, competition, fear and pride are felt by parents all over the city.

But hold on, Mom and Dad! The Academic Performance Index scores tell us only one thing: where the whitest, most affluent neighborhoods are.

I never got caught up in the API craze as a parent, but I do keep track of all of the API scores in the San Fernando Valley for my work. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that schools in the poorer neighborhoods with immigrant children can't compete with schools in the West Valley. And they never will.

My son entered kindergarten in 1999 in a low-income area with a high immigrant population. He and his peers have been on the front lines of the API wars and the No Child Left Behind Act since their inception. As a parent, I have witnessed firsthand how devastating this system of ranking schools, pressuring young children and segregating students based upon their race, financial status, and learning ability has on education and individuals. . .

The hopeful remainder here.

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