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

Monday, January 03, 2011

Answering Arne Duncan, part 2

Answering Arne Duncan, part 2

Comment posted on Washington Post website.

Original article at: Arne Duncan, School reform: A chance for bipartisan governing


Arne Duncan claims widespread support for new tests.

Yes, we all want accurate ways of measuring student growth. But does this mean we must have new tests and more testing than has ever been done before? I think we already have a wonderful and accurate way of "accurately measuring what children know." It also "helps inform and improve instruction." It's called teacher evaluation.

There is no evidence that extensive testing does a better job than teacher evaluation done by professionals who deal with children daily. Please see Krashen, S. A Fundamental Principle: No Unnecessary Testing (NUT), available at www.sdkrashen.com, for supporting arguments and supporting data.

The plan presented in the Dept of Education's Blueprint calls for an astonishing amount of testing, far more than we have now with NCLB. The only people I know who support the testing plan have spent very little time in schools, haven't read the Blueprint, or just aren't listening to real education professions or students. Or all three.

We are about to make a mistake that will cost billions and make school life (even more) miserable for millions of teachers and students. The only ones who will profit are the testing companies. We should be talking about reducing testing, not increasing it.

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