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View Diary: Michelle Rhee was warned about scope of DC test cheating (98 comments)

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  •  And what have we gotten for that? Improved (17+ / 0-)

    education?  Well, no, no one is arguing that students are smarter, better educated.  What we've gotten is what we really could have predicted - cheating scandals.  So now, instead of paying attention to the education of students, we can waste a lot of money, time and energy sorting out cheating scandals.  How predictable was this?

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 03:44:27 AM PDT

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    •  not just predictable, actually predicted (25+ / 0-)

      let me take you back to 2001 when NCLB was being proposed, based on the supposed TX Miracle under George W Bush as governor.  Walt Haney of Lynch College of Education at Boston College had already clearly demonstrated the problems with the TX data.  Others were pointing out the problems clearly demonstrated in research of attempting to drive educational policy by test-based accountability.  Gerald Bracey and Iris Rotberg had shown how people were totally misunderstanding the meaning of the results on international comparisons.

      All of this was not only in the educational literature.  It was communicated to people in Congress.  I know because I was one of those doing the communication, including direct email exchanges with at least one of the key Democrats in seeing NCLB through the Congress.  

      People didn't want to listen.

      Even the title, a rip-off of a civil rights motto, was false because the legislation as enacted required 100% proficiency by 2014 even though everyone acknowledged that was not possible unless the proficiency levels were set ridiculously low - a severely mentally disabled child was not going to be 100% proficient by any meaningful standard, and there were lots of others who were going to struggle. But it wasn't sexy to aim for 85 or 90% proficient, so political appeal was allowed to trump reality.

      George Miller and Teddy Kennedy signed on - giving Bush cover - because they thought that the administration would put more federal money into education.  But they did not get that written into law, and beside, it wouldn't matter:  the laws setting up special education say that the Congress would provide 40% of the average additional costs imposed by the law and the only times we have come close to that were duing the two years of the Recovery Act.  The rest of the time?  THe previous high was in FY2005 at 19% and the historic average was less than 15%.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 03:54:34 AM PDT

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