A post by Diane Ravitch prefaces a NY Times editorial that finally acknowledges that testing has become a “mania.” Writes the Times’ editorial board:
“Testing did spur some progress in student performance. But it has become clear to us over time that testing was being overemphasized — and misused — in schools that were substituting test preparation for instruction. Even though test-driven reforms were helpful in the beginning, it is now clear that they will never bring this country’s schools up to par with those of the high-performing nations that have left us far behind in math, science and even literacy instruction.”
The editorial goes on to say, “Congress could ease some of the test mania by rethinking the way schools are evaluated under No Child Left Behind.”
Perhaps Congress needs to revisit NCLB?
As Ravitch notes in her post, NCLB “sent the privatization movement into high gear, since ‘failing’ public schools could, under the law, be closed, privatized, handed over to charter operators. We now know that none of these remedies actually works unless low-performing kids are excluded or kicked out, and we know that the overwhelming majority of so-called ‘failing’ schools are schools that enroll mostly black and Hispanic students, many of whom are poor, have disabilities, or don’t speak English. Schools are being closed and privatized because they enroll the neediest students, not because they are ‘failing.’”