Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Consistently on a campaign of coercion, Duncan insisted that the Common Core be tied to high-stakes standardized tests that would purportedly measure the students’ mastery of these standards.
Steve Singer: Working in a poor school district like mine, you hear a lot about accountability. If administrators don’t enact this reform, or teachers don’t do that paperwork or students don’t score this high – they’ll close us down.
Mark Naison: The idea of closing low performing schools, designated as such entirely on the basis of student test scores, removing half of their teaching staff and all of their administrators, and replacing them with a new school, has tremendous appeal among business leaders and almost none among educators.
Mark Naison: When a massive threat emerges to the health and well-being of the nation’s children, action must be taken. Protecting children from abusive testing is the REAL civil rights cause of our time.
Mark Naison: I would like to see urban schools emphasize community involvement, artistic expression, and physical and emotional health on the part of their students.
Mark Naison: Current school reform policies represent a brilliant tactic to avoid dealing with the real causes of poverty and inequality in society, while finding a convenient scapegoat in public school teachers and their unions.
Mark Naison: The punitive, stress-filled environment that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Hop has created is good for no one’s children. But it is especially damaging to children who come to school hungry and fearful because their families are living on the edge.
Mark Naison: Hearing that the governor of New York plans to raise student test scores from twenty percent to forty percent of teacher ratings just reinforces my perception that a species of insanity has overtaken those in charge of public education in the United States.
Cynthia Liu: What’s troubling is that rhetoric surrounding use of student standardized test scores–even if student performance year-over-year is compared to eliminate external influences–appears to include other measures of teacher performance, yet those other measures have never been identified.
Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.
Sikivu Hutchinson: The value-added sham won’t help parents and communities of color struggling to achieve educational equity for youth who have already been intuitively assigned a jail cell by a public school culture marching in lockstep with the teach to the test ethos.
David Love: Is the SAT racially biased? The College Board says score disparities are due to educational inequities but the Harvard Educational Review disagrees.