Don’t shoot the test-score messenger, Delaware Michael J. Petrilli & Robert Pondiscio Michael J. Petrilli and Robert Pondiscio are president and vice president, respectively, of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and fathers of school-aged children.
First it’s important to remember why so many states started down this path in the first place. Under federal law, every state must test children every year in grades three through eight and once in high school to ensure they are making progress. That’s a good idea. Parents deserve to know if their kids are learning, and taxpayers are entitled to know if the money we spend on schools is being used wisely.
Petrilli and Pondiscio are stretching the facts. “Federal law” in this case only applies to states who accept federal grants particularly Title 1. There is no federal law arbitrarily requiring such testing.
Political lapdogs Petrilli and Pondiscio says nothing about how Arne Duncan blew in Obama’s ear to allow him to deface NCLB and Title 1 section 1118 via NCLB Waivers. The rights of Title 1 parents have been high-jacked to point they are not partners in decision-making. Parents are indoctrinated in education agendas after the fact such as in the case of Race to The Top, Commons Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment.
All this talk about college ready is a smoke screen! If we can’t get those below the achievement-gap particularity minority student “high school ready.” There is now way we’ll see them going to college.
Federally grant money via NCLB Waivers allows states and schools to that money for all students beyond the intended target group, high poverty students. We went from targeted assistance, to school wide and now for come on, come all.
The Common Core should help to boost college readiness – and college completion – by significantly raising expectations, starting in kindergarten. But we shouldn’t be surprised that Delaware found that less than half of its students are “on track” for college. In fact, that’s what we should expect. Parents, in other words, are finally learning the truth.
The truth is , there is profit in poverty when it comes to K-12 education. All the money pissed away of new political laced public education agendas via testing and purchasing new education material from the test makers could be better served adding more teachers and paraprofessionals in high poverty schools. Why fix the problem at the root cause when it harms profiteers?