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Gates Will Fight for National Standards and Make National Tests

Ohanian Comment: I've
been issuing warnings about Gates for years,
but most educators seem to feel that money
trumps all. There is very little criticism of
things Gates supports.

Enter "Vicki Phillips" into a search on this

Now the chicken comes home to roost.

By Elizabeth Green

Seattle - - Hereâs another big development: As
part of its new approach, the Gates Foundation
will advocate for the politically thorny goal
of national standards â and will aim to write
its own standards and its own national test.

Foundation officials said that the moves are
motivated by their frustration with current
tests and standards for what children should
know, which each state drafts individually as
part of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Vicki Phillips, the Gates Foundationâs director
of education programs, said the result is a
âtesting crisis in this country,â in which
tests are losing credibility among teachers,
who see them as so low-quality that they are

âLetâs admit it,â she said. "We canât dispense
with assessment, but neither can we keep adding
low-quality tests."

How will the foundation jump into the fight?
Theyâll start with standards, working with
states and school districts to develop a common
set. Phillips said the goal will be to make the
standards "fewer, clearer, higher" and to make
sure they match what students need to know to
succeed in college.

The next step will be to help create tests.
Phillips said the foundation will usher a few
trial assessments into development, and then
test them out to see which are best at
predicting whether students succeed in college.
(From what I understand, this would involve
having students take the test when they enter
college and then following them through the
process, to see whether high scores predict
college completion.)

Whichever test wins, Phillips said, the Gates
Foundation will make it available to any state
who is interested â at no cost.

— Elizabeth Green
Gotham Schools Blog





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