22 September 2009

Raising Important Questions About Testing

Here is a post by Diane Ravitch that raises crucially important questions about the effects of high stakes testing regimes:
This raises the question: With scores so often rigged and fraudulent, how can we use them to pay bonuses or to close schools? New York City's last round of phony test scores (noticed as phony even by the august New York Times) triggered a payout of $33 million in bonuses to teachers; the union is laughing all the way to the bank! So millions are awarded in fraudulent bonuses at the same time that school budgets are cut to the bone. Is this the way that big business operates? If so, it is no wonder that we had a financial meltdown.

I fear that American education has now entered into a twilight zone, where nothing is what it appears to be, where numbers are meaningless, where public relations and spin take the place of honest reporting, where fraud is called progress.
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