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

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dept of Education's Solution: More Tests

The Department of Education's Solution: More Tests

Sent to the NY Times, Jan 31, 2010

One article in the Times described the profound problems children are facing in school because of the economy ("Teacher, My Dad Lost his Job. Do We Have to Move?" 1/31). Another described the conflict over whether beginning teachers will be fired when New York cuts the education budget ("Bloomberg Presses Cuomo on Teacher Seniority Rule," 1/31). Articles also appear regularly about cutbacks in public and school libraries.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Education is spending huge sums for increasing testing far beyond the already unacceptable amount done under No Child Left Behind. According to the department's Blueprint, as well as speeches by Arne Duncan, they are planning pre- and post-tests to measure gains during the year, interim tests during the year, and are encouraging testing all subjects, not just reading and math.

The Department of Education clearly thinks that weighing the animal more frequently is more important than feeding it.

Stephen Krashen


  1. I don't think it is even about measurement. It is about ensuring $ get to the CEOs and shareholders with interests in testing. NCLB is a boon for some.

  2. If we are shifting our focus to measuring growth, that's great. But more testing? Oh, no! and completely unnecessary. If we must give tests, once a year is plenty. Anyway the problem never was test, it's how we used the tests, and how we understand what little they tell us.
    The bigger question that needs attention is how to measure what matters.
    ...and let's not put on our red shirts and blue shirts and get into a silly fight in the sandbox. Let's start showing the kids with more respect by making sure that we use there whole brilliant selves in school, not just do things to them and then test to see if we had an effect. Such a hopeless, self-defeating process.