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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Poor Children Need More High Stakes Standardized Testing

How much longer will this nation and its political and corporate leaders continue to hide behind standardized testing and accountability for teachers while more children and families slip into poverty because of greedy sociopaths? Answer: as long as parents and teachers allow it.
Do you think the Acosta children will cause their teachers to lose their jobs because they didn't reach 100 percent proficiency Arne Duncan and Margaret Spellings? How many value added points will the children in Arkansas get because their houses were destroyed by a tornado? 
The wizard is standing there with the curtain drawn, the emperor is naked and NJ Ask testing just stressed out millions of children, teachers and parents, but the money just keeps on rolling in for those who are laughing all the way to the bank. 
Three decades of mindless testing, degrading and humiliating teachers and gutting history, social studies and civics from the curriculum and this country has lost its moral compass. 
As Congress passes legislation to increase charter schools and further privatize education so corporations can squeeze more billions in profits while paying their workers $8 an hour, who needs teachers when you can sit students in front of a computer and just click. These children might as well get used to sitting in front of a computer all day doing mindless tasks because that's likely where they will spend the rest of their lives. Maybe they will earn $10 an hour, that's if Congress passes the minimum wage.
Here's the latest glimpse in to how the majority of Americans are living from the NYT:
The paletas have become a centerpiece of their lives. The couple constantly think about the best prices for ingredients and how many pops are in their small freezer; they take orders by phone to deliver to backyard parties. When their son asks to get hamburgers at the local In-N-Out, they have a standard response: “The mathematics are very simple,” Ms. Acosta said. “If you want to eat there, we need you to sell $25” of the ice pops.
Continue reading the main story
Caught in Poverty
Articles in this series examine American hardship 50 years after the war on poverty.
“The hardest part is the shame,” Mr. Plancarte said, sitting at his kitchen table as his wife and daughter ate mango paletas doused in chamoy, a blood-red sugary hot sauce. “People say to me, ‘Why don’t you find a job over there, or at that factory or that place?’ First of all, they aren’t there, I’ve tried. But even if they have a job, it’s going to be paying me $8 an hour. So I’ll spend no time with my family to make less money than I make now selling these.”
By Ms. Acosta’s calculation, the couple earned about $25,000 last year, nearly all of it in cash. And while it is nearly $2,000 above the official poverty line for a family of four nationally, it is hardly enough to meet their basic needs. By the time they pay for rent, gas, phone, electricity and food, they have spent about $2,000 a month, Ms. Acosta said.

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