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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Spellings: Dangerous Delusion or Incredible Lie?

No one can really tell the depths of the delusions or the capacity for lying by those who roam the halls of the White House, but, lie or delusion, Spellings continues to stick to the script, regardless of how far removed from reality it is, and regardless of how many children, parents, and teachers will be maimed as their schools blow up in their faces on the road to 2014. Spellings, yesterday:
. . . .We still have far to go to reach the goal of grade-level success for all students by 2014. But it's achievable, and it's what this nation ought to expect from our schools and students.

Despite successes we're seeing after five years under No Child Left Behind, some would have us believe the goal of grade-level success is unattainable ― that it's unreasonable to think all of our poor and minority students can achieve at grade level. I flatly reject this notion. . . .

But then who are you going to believe, Bush's pal in charge of ED, or the former President of the American Education Research Association, Bob Linn:

"There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target," said Robert L. Linn, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. "But because the title of the law is so rhetorically brilliant, politicians are afraid to change this completely unrealistic standard. They don't want to be accused of leaving some children behind."
Or here:

"One hundred percent proficient becomes increasingly unrealistic as we get closer to 2014," said Robert Linn, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder. "NCLB's accountability system undermines its strengths. We are likely to see all schools failing to meet AYP by 2014."

Or here:

"It's fail now or fail later," said Teri Moblo, Director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. "Under the current system, schools are destined to be labeled as failing and there is no way around it. The question isn't will schools fail, it's when will they fail.

"Without increased flexibility in the AYP requirements and a focus on the underlying reasons why students do not perform well on such tests, we will continue to invest huge amounts of time and money in a system where failure is guaranteed."

Or this from a Massachusetts study (click to enlarge):

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