Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: Brad makes an important point, one we should all be making--over and over.]

Published in Lowell (MASS) Sun
05/01/2003

To the editor





Eighty four percent of the Class of 2004 passed the MCAS on their first try last spring. So is the reaction of state education officials one of jubilation and celebration? No, it is that the test must be too easy (Raising of MCAS bar is weighed" 4/30/03.)



The Board of Education established a high-stakes test, continually praised its quality, and, after some deliberation, set a cut score. For their part, students focused on the test, teachers taught what they were told to teach (sometimes at the expense of more meaningful education), and scores went up.



So do we praise students and teachers for their efforts? No, we conclude that not enough students are flunking.



This is not raising the bar; it is redrawing the maze to make more dead ends. At some point even the most avid MCAS proponent has to say "enough!"

Brad McGowan


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.