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

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Duncan Plans to Rewrite Campbell's Law with More Surveillance and Test Security

Noted social scientist, Donald Campbell, developed this dictum in 1976 that has since become Campbell's Law:
"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."
And when NCLB was crafted, of course, with increasing impossible targets and punishing sanctions, would anyone doubt the outcome as the heat was raised under the pressure cooker?  Even Arne?  And yet the pasty one tells the media he is stunned.  Could this be the Chernobyl for Testing Hysteria?
In a video interview Wednesday with 11Alive News, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said he was "stunned" when he learned of the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools. 

Duncan calls the scandal a result of a "rotten" culture, but isolated to Atlanta and Baltimore, where several schools have recently seen similar problems. Duncan says in the interview:

"This is an easy one to fix [with] better test security."

Still, despite the problem's isolation, the root of the issue is systemic, Duncan says.

"The answer here is very simple, you just have a culture of integrity and you have better security measures in place. but again what was so disappointing for me here was not an isolated individual or two, this was clearly systemic, this was clearly a part of the culture in Atlanta. That simply can't happen, that is absolutely inexcusable."

His surprise and response has drawn attention from Twitter users, several of whom said the problems come from No Child Left Behind and leadership and policy issues.

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