USED: Recycled Empty Course Change on Testing
Wow. We've come so--oh, no, wait. We're exactly in the same place. And it was Downtown Baloneyville then, and the bus is stopping on the same corner today.
The new USED "cap" on testing is a suggestion for just 2% of the year to be wasted on actual testing. Big deal. That's peanuts compared to the vast time wastage of getting ready for the BS Testing. Mike Petrilli chimes in to say, "Let's be careful not to cut really useful and important tests," as if any tests are actually going to be scaled back.
And buried deep in the story is some actual useful information from the Council on Great City Schools report:
So, although reformsters repeatedly insist that the ultimate measure of any education policy choice is whether or not it raises tests scores, we will not be applying that metric to the BS Tests. Because reasons.
The administration said it would issue "clear guidance" on testing by January. Some of the language of the announcement Saturday was general; it said, for example, that tests should be Ă˘€śworth takingĂ˘€ť and "fair." Like new guidance from many states, it stressed that academic standards and curriculum are to be fleshed out locally.
Yes, one year later we are still offering pointless PR nuggets and avoiding the real discussion, which is why, exactly, we need the BS Tests at all, and what possible justification there is for using the BS Tests to measure, rank and rate students, teachers or schools. The USED will still punch us all in the nose and take our lunch money, but they promise to try really hard not to take up too much of our time doing it. And the media, with its goldfish-sized memory, reports this as if it's a great step forward and not a recycling of last year's account of this incremental journey to nowhere. Gah.
(And Obama's testing action plan? That's a crock, too.)
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