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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Arne Duncan: Just Sucking

As he watches Bill Gates' Common Core spinning quickly now before it heads down the toilet bowl, Arne Duncan has once again offered too little too late to save the latest miseducative boluses of the profiteers and privatizers at CorpEd. Trying to suck the air out of the Resistance by offering one year off from the high stakes part (for teachers) of the testing idiocy (which is half of what Bill Gates has offered) doesn't make Bill Gates look like a good guy--it just makes Duncan look more like an out-of-touch fool.

This statement yesterday from FairTest:
Today's announcement that the U.S. Department of Education will consider proposals from states to delay test-based teacher evaluation reflects belated recognition of the growing movement against standardized exam overuse and misuse.  It is a sign that national politicians are starting to pay attention to constituents who are saying "Enough is enough" . . .

Unfortunately, the Obama-Duncan proposal fails to address the real problems. It only offers to suspend testing consequences for educators, not for students and schools, even though all education stakeholders are scheduled to be evaluated by the same, unproven new exams.  And, it offers a delay of only one year, when even the Gates Foundation proposed two years.

Instead of this minor concession, the nation really needs an indefinite moratorium on high-stakes tests and consequences to allow the development of new assessment practices that actually support learning and teaching.

The Administration's initiative is merely an attempt to buy time for the implementation of another round of counter-productive federal policies that double down on the failure of the past decade of test-and-punish programs. This cynical action will only further energize the many parents, teachers and community activists calling a thorough overhaul of assessment policies."

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