High-Stakes Testing Is Putting the Nation At Risk
In his 2007 State of the Union address, President Bush claimed success for the federal No Child Left Behind Act. “Students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap,” he said, calling on Congress to reauthorize this “good law.” Apparently, the president sees in No Child Left Behind what he sees in Iraq: evidence that his programs are working. But, as with Iraq, a substantial body of evidence challenges his claim.
We believe that this federal law, now in its sixth year, puts American public school students in serious jeopardy. Extensive reviews of empirical and theoretical work, along with conversations with hundreds of educators across the country, have convinced us that if Congress does not act in this session to fundamentally transform the law’s accountability provision, young people and their educators will suffer serious and long-term consequences. If the title were not already taken, our thoughts on this subject could be headlined “A Nation at Risk.”
We note in passing that only people who have no contact with children could write legislation demanding that every child reach a high level of performance in three subjects, thereby denying that individual differences exist. Only those same people could also believe that all children would reach high levels of proficiency at precisely the...
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- Director of Product Marketing, Assessment
- Scholastic Inc., Manhattan, NY
- Lawrence Family Development Charter School, Lawrence, MA
- 3rd Grade Teacher
- New Hope Academy Charter School, Brooklyn, NY
- Flagler County Public Schools, Bunnell, FL
- Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, Lawrence, MA