All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent.
— John F. Kennedy
As I mentioned yesterday, I do not think testing is guilty of every charge leveled against it, particularly the accusation that it narrows the scope and content of what is taught in classrooms. However, I do think we should look at ways to make testing more efficient and less burdensome.
Testing, 1, 2, 3
The first time I realized No Child Left Behind was controversial was when, a year out of college, I found myself at a Democratic fundraiser in a hip Denver loft. The keynote speaker was the late Ann Richards, and she was rallying the crowd with slogans like, "all No Child Left Behind does is make sure no child's behind is left." I had no idea what she was getting at.
In search of a common denominator
As many parents who have moved from one state to another can tell you, there can be substantial differences in content and rigor of schools from one place to another. In 2010, Andrew Rotherham wrote, "states, school districts, and in some cases individual schools are allowed to set both their academic standards and the tests to determine whether students are reaching them." The American Institutes for Research conducted a study in 2009, which concluded, "What students are expected to know in one state may be up to four grade levels behind the expectations set in another state."
Boston Voter Poll: Attitudes toward education reform, charter schools
Education Reform Now, in partnership with the Benenson Strategy Group, recently polled Boston voter attitudes toward education reform in the city, charter schools, public education, politicians' handling of education, and voter priorities. The poll can be downloaded here. (Crosstabs are here.)