Published Online: January 26, 2010
Published in Print: January 27, 2010, as Blogs of the Week

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BRIDGING DIFFERENCES

Testing Achievement

Even the best reporting can’t do a lot if we avoid the real question: What do we want from schools—other than “higher test scores?” If that’s all we want, we’ll get it, and we will continue having a test-prep system.

I’d like to pass a second Meier’s Law, and a third. (The first: Those who require students to take a standardized test must be required to take it, too, and make their scores public.)

Law Two: Before anyone writes a new law or creates a new commission, we all agree to read at least some of what’s already been written. Law Three: Meanwhile, whenever we see the word “achievement,” replace it with “test scores”—unless other evidence is cited. —Debra Meier


CURRICULUM MATTERS

College Readiness

What does it mean when far more high school teachers think their students are ready for college than do the college instructors who teach them? It means we have a pretty big disconnect between what high schools think is needed for success in college and what actually is needed.

A new survey of thousands of high school and college teachers, conducted by ACT Inc., fleshes out a few of the key reasons behind the gap.

The survey shows that high school teachers and college instructors have differing views of what skills are important.

Also, high school teachers think they’ve prepared their students for the rigorous types of reading they’ll encounter in college, but college professors disagree.

Interesting stuff to keep in mind as the debate about defining and measuring college readiness rolls on. —Catherine Gewertz

Vol. 29, Issue 19, Page 9

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