Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Overwhelmingly Negative

That is the reaction by 168 people who left comments at the Times story about the city's new battery of standardized tests they plan to roll out to evaluate not students, just teachers.

There were many good comments left by people that really pointed out the unfairness of this system, the absurdity of spending all this money on tests when the budgets have been cut to the bone, the craziness of the people in charge who say that adding fifteen high stakes tests a year for teachers will somehow make students learn more when there are so many other factors involved in student learning.

I think this comment, however, might be my favorite:

As a parent of two children in the NYC school system I find this mania for testing both infuriating and profoundly depressing. The reality of the situation is that teachers will increasingly teach their students how to take tests. Especially when their own future rests on the test results.
But the tests themselves are not indicators of what children are learning - they don't measure a 3rd graders love of reading or a skilled teacher's ability to focus a restless pre-adolescent boy. Nor are they measures of a real ability to teach.
The tests are simply irrelevant to what a student is learning.
But they are (sadly) relevant to a bureaucratic system that is increasingly out of touch with the needs of students, parents and educators.

Whatever is not quantifiable in the test will no longer be valued in schools.

That will be the outcome of the new test system.

Let me remind you that this is the system brought to us first by the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition, then by the ed deform movement and the newspaper editorialists and publishers who pushed the legislature to pass this so that the state could "win" $700 million from Obama (though ironically the new evaluation system is going to cost more to develop and implement than that), then by Cuomo and the ed deform shills at the Regents, and finally by Bloomberg and all the Broad and Gates Foundation people he's hired at the DOE.

A handful of rich people or people on the payroll of rich people are going to affect the lives of millions of students and the reputations and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of teachers.

And as the public is getting a glimpse of how the new high stakes testing evaluation system for teachers is going to look, they don't seem to like it at all, at least judging by the comments at this story.

Get ready for Gates and Bloomberg to either openly or covertly roll out a media campaign to promote this system and to tar any opponents to it as defenders of the status quo, people who put the interests of adults over kids, etc.

We'll see if they win that battle.

Bloomberg didn't fare so well the last time he tried a media campaign to sway people.

And people can see the insanity of this system for themselves.

Maybe, just maybe, Bloomberg's overreach will come back to bite him on this.

We'll see.

Remember too, that he is coming to the second part of his last term.

With lame duck status all over him, his popularity really low, and the popularity of his education policies even lower, he can be beaten on this.

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