I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

“California could lose out on millions of federal education dollars unless legislators change a law that prevents it from using student test scores to measure teachers’ performance, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to announce in a speech today.”

Besides the numerous arguments about how test scores as an evaluative measure are short-sighted and erroneous, this type of federal mandate, in my opinion, goes too far. The States themselves are supposed to be in charge of their own educational systems, and this type of declaration threatens local control of education.

How sad that a cash-strapped and already struggling education system is now being potentially coerced into an evaluative measure that the educators know is flawed and could fundamentally change education in the state.

FYI: Here are the points Duncan says States need to adhere to in order to gain the federal funds:

  • “Lift restrictions on the growth of charter schools;”
  • “build data systems that show individual student progress under specific teachers and principals;”
  • “seek out new ways to turn around perennially struggling schools; and”
  • “sign on to efforts to develop common academic standards that are tough enough to withstand international scrutiny.”

Side note: When discussing data systems no one in charge talks about student capacity, only test scores.


One thought on “I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

  1. thehurt

    Two things that I find terribly ironic in this whole mess of a situation:
    1. With a push for standards, testing, and money tied to the outcomes of testing, the “Race to the Top” sounds an awful lot like No Child Left Behind, which many view as a huge blemish on the Bush Administration’s record. This just takes NCLB even farther and adds teachers to the existing equation.
    2. The education unions (NEA, for example) were vigorous supporters of Barack Obama, and now his administration is adopting policies that directly contradict what the unions most deeply believe.

    I also agree with your side note. It’s obvious to me that not all students have the ability to go to a four-year university. Of course, that doesn’t mean these students won’t be successful – it just means that their success will be in a field that doesn’t get covered at a university. It reminds me of the Lincoln quote: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”


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