Why Not Put Schools to the Test?
Ohanian Comment: Some of us remember Everts from the days when he put a toilet on the back of a pickup so he could publicly flush the NCTM-based California math standards down the toilet. Those standards were, of course, long ago replaced by the Standardisto grint-out-the-answers standards California now pushes. A real class act.
PALO ALTO, CALIF. -- Since early in America's history as a nation, education has been integral to our nation - a way of overcoming class and caste distinctions that, in other countries, prevent people from realizing their dreams and hopes through their intellect and energies. In terms of individual advancement, education is essential to opportunity.
For that reason, any attempt to conduct the education policy debate among "experts" alone is destined to fail as parents, lawmakers, and other civic stakeholders insist on making school business their business. Witness the current debate on the proper place of testing in American education, which in some instances pits parents and elected policymakers who support testing against a group of education experts who are skeptical and disparaging of what testing can determine.
Without question, the new emphasis on testing is linked to a larger cluster of reforms calling for more accountability on the part of school systems and school administrators. . . .
Tests tell us what the problem is. . . .
Bill Evers is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and recently served as senior educational adviser to Ambassador Paul Bremer in Iraq. Herbert J. Walberg is a distinguished visiting fellow at Hoover. They are members of the Koret K-12 Task Force on education reform and coeditors of the new book "Testing Student Learning, Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness."
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Bill Evers and Herbert J. Walberg
Christian Science Monitor
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