by Pamela Powers Hannley
Standardized testing to evaluate students, teachers, and schools is a nationwide hot button issue. Educator and author Diane Ravitch-- once a supporter of No Child Left Behind, testing, and charter schools-- now tours the country speaking out against high-stakes testing (like the AIMS test). From her Wikipedia page...
High-stakes testing, "utopian" goals, "draconian" penalties, school closings, privatization, and charter schools didn't work, she concluded. "The best predictor of low academic performance is poverty—not bad teachers."
Ravitch said that the charter school and testing reform movement was started by "right wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation," for the purpose of destroying public education and teachers' unions. ... Of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Race to the Top program, Ravitch said in a 2011 interview it "is an extension of No Child Left Behind ...[,] all bad ideas." She concluded "We are destroying our education system, blowing it up by these stupid policies. And handing the schools in low-income neighborhoods over to private entrepreneurs does not, in itself, improve them. There's plenty of evidence by now that the kids in those schools do no better, and it's simply a way of avoiding their - the public responsibility to provide good education." [Emphasis added.]
How much testing is enough? How much is too much? Here the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) board candidates' opinions on standardized testing in the video after the jump. This is the sixth video from the Drinking Liberally TUSD candidate forum on September 26. To view all of the videos in this series, go to my YouTube channel.