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

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bush and Spellings on Testing and NCLB

Last Thursday Ben Feller, the White House's education PR man at the Associated Press, was one of two "reporters" let in to hear the President waxing philosophical about his domestic policy centerpiece, NCLB. Here are some of the comments, most of which did not get into Feller's piece. They come from the right-wing would-be journalist, Nicholas Plagman, and how he got them remains a mystery. However they were obtained, they are so thoroughly Bush that no one could have made them up:
"It is important for all of us to make it clear that accountability is not a way to punish anybody," said Bush in a meeting at the White House, "It's an essential component to making sure that our system, our education system, frankly, is not discriminatory. Education isn't about learning, or getting an education, it's about ensuring that people of all races and all backgrounds have identical test scores."
. . . .
"There cannot be one nationwide federal test that compares all students equally," said Bush, "that'll just never work. Some parts of the country have more minorities than others, some are overflowing with illegals, and some are in the south; we cannot expect these states to perform at the same level as other, less unfortunate states."
And then there is this from Spellings, who stopped in at UTPB in Midland, Texas on Tuesday to share some of her wisdom:

When asked about her opinion on "teaching to standardized tests," she said, "There is not a thing wrong in teaching to the test."

She also said fears about the testing might be in part due with "grown-up anxiety," as educators adapt to the change in standards. "I think we are seeing anxiety on the part of grown-ups..."

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