The neo-con (Fordham) and neo-liberal (PPI) sludge tanks have been using the same education-reform-by-testing textbook since the late 1990s, but now they are on the same page, together reading aloud in unison: “We want a national testing program.”
Jay Mathews, the leading testocrat at the Washington Post and Hoover-paid critic of alternative assessments, writes this morning in his inimitable op-news style to pump the Fordham Foundation’s recent report on how to go about creating a national testing program to replace the failing one recently sold to the Congress by these same geniuses. Instead of using state tests this time, which have thus far kept the privatizers from their goal of entirely destroying public confidence in the public schools, the sludge tank sophists are now urging a national test (NAEP) to achieve the same end, and thus open the door to charters (the PPI solution) and vouchers (the Fordham solution).
Mathews, who has made his fortune nurturing a unique kind of intellectual laziness to best serve the political power brokers in Washington, offers up another piece of dumbed down blather to take the Fordham talking points, remove all context markers, and then make them seem inevitable. For instance, he ignores the fact that NCLB offered states the option to make their testing proficiency targets tough in early years or tough later on toward 2014. Mathews then selectively cites those states with low up-front proficiency targets in order to make the contrast between easy state and the tough NAEP scores all the more dramatic and to paint state departments of education as the unresponsive malingerers that stand in the way of real standards and accountability.
For Hickok, Kress, Rotherham, and the hack-ademics on ed industry retainer, reauthorization of NCLB offers the last good chance for privatization before this crowd of corporate welfare artists is swept out of Washington.