Archive for the ‘No Child Left Untested’ Category

“Test-driven teaching isn’t character-driven.”

peaceflag.jpg     This is an excellent essay by one of my favorite people on the planet, Colman McCarthy. 

I highly recommend his book, I’d Rather Teach Peace.

Read it before the link goes dead!

No good deed goes unpunished.

What a great lesson to teach our kids:

"The Camden (NJ) school board last night fired the high school principal who came out publicly to say a district official told him to fix a state test."

Here's what's meant by "fix": cheat.  The district official told this principal to cheat on state test results.  The principal refused.  The district official attempted to blackmail this principal, who has a young child with health problems, by saying things about how tough life would be if the principal lost his health care benefits.  Which would happen if he lost his job.  Which would happen if he refused to play along.  And cheat.

This prinicipal did the right thing.  He refused to cheat.  He reported the misconduct. 

Now he's unemployed.  Despicable.

Is History being “left behind”?

wheres_ben_franklin.jpg     Yes

Our state assessment for eighth graders, the dreaded GEPA, spends one day testing kids on science (although failing this section has no bearing on placement in remedial science classes in high school, because such classes don't exist), one LONG day testing math, and TWO really long days testing literacy.

Not one minute is spent on social studies.  No history.  No civics.  No geography. 

Why is that?  These are required courses in every grade of a kid's public school education here in the Garden State.  Why is it not important enough to include in standardized testing, especially the tests that determine whether or not a student graduates from high school? 

Are we really trying to, in the end, graduate educated citizens?  If that truly is the goal – and not just using schools as vocational training factories – shouldn't we be determining whether or not our students are fully informed citizens, who understand where they came from so they can have an idea of where they are going, who know how their government is supposed to work, who know what their rights are and how to protect them, who can actually find places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and, say, Nepal, on a map?

An interesting opinion piece on this from The Boston Globe.  I have my own ideas about this, but they involve wild and warped conspiracy theories, so I'll keep them to myself…

No dollar left unspent. But by whom?

Found this interesting story on CNN.com, about how some private citizens are finding new and interesting ways to spend the money (what there is of it) that's been made available under the No Child Left Untested legislation. While I think innovation is great, and I whole-heartedly endorse making more tutoring available for kids who need it (as long as it's not just "test coaching"), I wonder why so much money is going to privatized sources.

Or, should I really be wondering. Guess not.

The “No duh!” story of the week.

"Teachers are far more pessimistic than parents about getting every student to succeed in reading and math as boldly promised by the No Child Left Behind Act."

Surprised?  You shouldn't be.  Scroll down, for one of the many reasons why this is the case.

I’m shocked. Simply shocked.

my_brain_hurts_1.jpg     Monday: "States are helping public schools escape potential penalties by skirting the No Child Left Behind law's requirement that students of all races must show annual academic progress."

Tuesday: "Congressional leaders and a former Bush Cabinet member said Tuesday that schools should stop excluding large numbers of minority students' test scores when they report progress under the No Child Left Behind law."

Whoa.  You mean people are cheating on their high-stakes testing results?

The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University was talking about this months ago.  You should read this.