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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Disrespecting professional judgment

Sent to the Washington Post, Jan 9
Several experts claim that without annual standardized testing, we don't know if students are progressing  ("Education Secretary Arne Duncan to outline education priorities and defend testing," January 9.).
They are telling us, in other words, that teacher evaluations of students mean nothing: We should value scores on a single test constructed by distant strangers more than the judgments of professionals who work with students every day.
Stephen Krashen
Original article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/obama-administration-draws-line-in-sand-over-testing/2015/01/09/12e3d9da-9818-11e4-aabd-d0b93ff613d5_story.html


  1. The pushback on this by policymakers is that for decades poor children of color (primarily) were ill-served by systems in which there was less 'accountability.' That's what is driving this whole misbegotten movement and is an issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed, no?

    1. Actually, no. What is driving this misbegotten movement at this point in history is the money that is generated for the Pearsons and McGraw Hills of the testing industry, for the real estate investors of the charter industry, for the paternalistic control of poor people's kids by market driven drones with no moral compass, and for political cowards and fakers who pretend the higher test scores are going to solve the epidemic of income inequality that will kill the nation if left unaddressed.

      The testing accountability movement was created by Washington policymuckers, both liberal and conservative, who wanted to find a cheap solution to the rampant educational inequity of the 1960s without doing anything to challenge the racist and classist system that dominates and oppresses. Since Reagan, the movement has grown and morphed to harbor every seedy profiteer and incompetent fascist who would use education for self-aggrandizing ends. Read The Mismeasure of Education.

  2. Thanks, Jim. I have. I'm also cognizant of the evolving dialogue between the feds and the states over the expenditure of ESEA funds over the last couple of decades. I'm as worried about our current setup as you are. But I do know there's history there around 'what are we getting from the states in return for this money?' and 'why aren't these poor kids of color doing any better when we keep sending you funds?' that drives policymakers' thinking (in addition, of course, to the fat checks they're getting). That's all I'm saying here. And, yes, I too wish we would invest those monies in different, capacity-building and poverty-alleviating ways.