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ETS in the New York Times & the Washington Post


Ohanian Comment: Again this month, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have a quarter-page ad by ETS, part of an ongoing series pushing for NCLB's extension into high school.

A picture of Kurt M. Landgraf, President & CEO, ETS (and former prescription drug salesman) graces the ad, which offers fear and trembling about the nation's high schools.

Here is the text of the ad. Note ETS's rather individualistic use of commas.


On Education Reform, Let's Avoid False Choices

As a new presidential term begins and a new Congress convenes, policymakers face some of the most momentous issues in our nation's history. Education reform continues to be one of them.

From expanding No Child Left Behind to high school, to improving teacher quality and closing the achievement gap, public education is at a crossroads. The steps we take now will determine where we'll be in a generation.

Moving forward with NCLB will be a priority for the new Secretary of Education. Enacted three years ago, NCLB has highlighted soft spots in the system, thanks in part to data-collection provisions regarding student performance. This is precisely what NCLB was designed to do. Three years of experience have also shown us how NCLB might be implemented more effectively.

As debates over these issues take shape, we must avoid the traditional either/or formulation all too common in political and policy discussions: Either you're for holding schools accountable for student performance, or you're for more spending. Either you're for expanding opportunity to the many, or you're for concentrating on the potential of the few. Either teacher should master content, or they should have better teaching skills.

These are false choices that ill serve students, parents and the public. At ETS, we believe it is possible to pursue both accountability and efficiency; to pursue both equity and quality; to master both content and pedagogy.

Public opinion research conducted for ETS shows that Americans want reform to proceed. By more than 2-to-1, parents say they believe NCLB will improve public education. This insistence on reform has become the new middle ground in the education debate, and it forms the common ground on which policy should coalesce.

In the coming months, we'll be setting forth ETS's positions in three fundamental areas:

  • ensuring that our schools are held accountable for student performance


  • expanding access to educational opportunity


  • improving teacher quality


  • By keeping the focus on education reform, and by avoiding the trap of false choices, we'll all be taking the right steps today for the generation of tomorrow.

    At ETS, we're listening to educators, parents and policymakers. We're learning from sound research. And we're leading the effort to achieve both informed public policy and informed educational practice.

    Listening. Learning. Leading. ETS.

    Continue the conversation. Log On. Let's Talk.

    http://www.ets.org/letstalk1.html

    Go to that url and you'll get this letter--and the invitation to ask a question:

    World-Class Teachers for All Our Learners

    ETS President Kurt Landgraf continues his discussion of the important issues facing American educators in the latest installment of his popular opinion column. Read it now.
    Join us for an important conversation about testing ...

    Talk With Parents

    Across the country, parents and taxpayers have sent a clear message to policy-makers: Improve schools to make sure our children have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Spend more if necessary, taxpayers say, but require schools to produce results.

    Policy-makers have responded by setting rigorous standards and testing students on a regular basis; by holding teachers, administrators and school boards responsible for student achievement; and by giving parents the information they need to judge the results for themselves.

    Parents, teachers and others have many questions about how tests are used as a tool to improve public education. How are the tests developed? Are they fair to all segments of our diverse student population? How are the results used? How can students, parents and teachers prepare for tests? And most importantly, do the tests improve student learning?

    ETS is sponsoring a public dialogue on these and other issues related to testing. This conversation aims to accomplish two goals: We want to answer the public's questions about testing, and we want to create a partnership to help us all use test results to improve the academic performance of all students.

    A nonprofit company, ETS is the world's most experienced educational testing and measurement organization. We give and score millions of tests every year in the United States and 200 other countries. We have a special obligation to inform - and enhance - the public debate and discussion on issues surrounding testing, teaching, and learning.

    We also have an obligation - and a responsibility - to listen closely to the public we serve - to students, parents and teachers. Our mission is to make schools better for all students.

    We welcome your participation in this conversation. Send us your questions. Together, we can help our kids learn and achieve more.

    Sincerely,
    Kurt signature
    Kurt Landgraf
    President and CEO
    Educational Testing Service


    — Kurt M. Landgraf, President & CEO, ETS, advertisement
    New York Times & Washington Post

    2005-03-23


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