Time February 17, 2020 pp25 Education “Tests did not save schools but money could” By Diane Ravitch-the author of “Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools”.
Education reform under W, Congress (2001) and Obama put emphasis on standardized testing likely under the trending business mantras of what gets measured gets managed and that disruption is the new normal. What have we learned from this expensive and disruptive endeavor? “Every standardized test is normed on a bell curve that reflects family income and education; affluent kids dominate the top, and poor kids dominate the bottom”. These data essentially supporting the tack of prior reformers that “poverty and affluence are the most important determinates of test scores”. If we truly want fairness or equal opportunity in education then solutions suggested include “making sure they [impoverished children] have access to nutrition, medical care and housing” and that teachers have a living income. Ravitch argues that “Children and schools need stability, not disruption…[and]…experienced teachers and well-maintained schools”. Read the article or Ravitch’s book for more detail.