Education “reformers” have a common playbook, says Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, for the Washington Post. First, assert without evidence that regular public schools are “failing” and that large numbers of regular (unionized) public school teachers are incompetent. Provide no documentation for this claim other than that the test score gap between minority and white children remains large. Then propose so-called reforms to address the unproven problem—charter schools to escape teacher unionization and the mechanistic use of student scores on low-quality and corrupted tests to identify teachers who should be fired. The mantra has been endlessly repeated by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and by “reform” leaders like Michelle Rhee, former Washington D.C. public schools chancellor, and Joel Klein, former New York schools chancellor……Read More
As the Obama administration seeks support for its plan to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), many education policy analysts worry that the new blueprint’s guidelines are too reminiscent of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)—most notably by continuing to place too much focus on high-stakes testing.
In the proposed dismantling of NCLB, education officials would move away from punishing schools that don’t meet benchmarks and focus on rewarding schools for progress, particularly with poor and minority students. (See “Obama offers blueprint for rewriting NCLB.”)
The proposed changes call for states to adopt standards that ensure students are ready for college or a career, rather than grade-level proficiency—the focus of the current law.…Read More