Obama on School Reform

This quote pretty much summarizes it all:

It would set firmer standards for success while lifting nearly all the measures that the Bush law uses to try to prod change at failing schools. . . .

Critics have also singled out the law's heavy focus on standardized tests and its emphasis on reading and math over other subjects like science, history and art. . . .

If tests do such a bad job of measuring student performance, possibly we should just get rid of all tests in school. The best option might be to simply stop federal government involvement in education, but that is the last option that Obama will consider.

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Blogger Angie said...

Obama is really making some major changes to the school system, and as usual seems to be entirely unchallenged by the media. I was always a fan of vouchers, but the Obama machine is removing local control of the school boards in favor of central planning, and fat government contracts.

3/15/2010 8:17 AM  
Blogger Mike Gallo said...

Now, doesn't the target median test score under NCLB move up year to year as schools improve? It bothers me to think that once the school hits its "ideal" distribution, the target keeps increasing anyways. Do I misunderstand the system? I had a family friend who teaches explain the moving standard system, and I'm always leary about getting such information from a teacher.
Now, if Obama came out and said "no more NCLB, the fed.gov is getting out of local schools," I can't say I would be upset. Somehow I doubt that's what's going on here...

3/15/2010 11:26 AM  
Blogger David said...

Of course success and failure depends on who gets to define the goal.

I do have a problem with the current ISAT test at my kids school. They stop teaching for a week just to prep them for the test. They don't care if they actually know and understand the correct answer as long as they score well on the test. Remember the test is the government evaluation of the school and I suppose has some effect on government money for the school.

Why don't we let the parents decide if the school is failing the kids?

3/15/2010 11:51 AM  
Blogger Raven Lunatic said...

I have to agree with David. It's not that the constant testing, at all levels (down to first grade, even) doesn't measure performance, it's that having to take time out of teaching so regularly, means that the intensive testing regimen we currently have has a detrimental effect on performance. Teachers spend so much time preparing for the tests and administering them that they have significantly less time to actually, you know, teach.

3/15/2010 3:30 PM  

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