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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Expanding the floor of the cage

Sent to the Washington Post, Jan 22, 2015
Re: "What are the odds that Congress actually rewrites No Child Left Behind? 50-50, Arne Duncan says." (Jan 21).
In their hearings on the reauthorization of the education law, the Senate Education committee is considering a number of options for testing: They include keeping the old system of testing every student every year, as well as various proposals to make moderate reductions in testing.
Not discussed is another option: Stop testing altogether, and take time out to consider the massive evidence that the standardized tests we are forcing on children are very harmful, both for cognitive and psychological development, and bleed money from places where it is badly needed.
We must insist that no test be given to students unless it has been demonstrated that the test is helpful. Even if a test is shown to be helpful, it must be demonstrated that the investment in the test is more beneficial for students than investing elsewhere (e.g. health care, food programs, libraries).  It is now time for a Real Testing Moratorium (see eg http://www.fairtest.org/time-real-testing-moratorium).
Modest reductions in testing only "expand the floor of the cage." 

Stephen Krashen

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