Reblogged from GADFLYONTHEWALLBLOG
There is no single education policy more harmful than test-based accountability.
The idea goes like this: We need to make sure public schools actually teach children, and the best way to do that is with high stakes standardized testing.
It starts from the assumption that the problems with our school system are all service-based. Individual schools or districts are not providing quality services. Teachers and administrators are either screwing up or don’t care enough to do the job.
But this is untrue. In reality, most of our problems are resource-based. From the get-go, schools and districts get inequitable resources with which to work.
This is not a guess. This is not a theory. It is demonstrable. It has been demonstrated. It is a fact.
No one even disputes it.
What is in question is its importance.
However, any lack of intention or ability on the part of schools to actually teach is, in fact, pure conjecture. It is a presumption, an excuse by those responsible for allocating resources (i.e. lawmakers) from doing their jobs.
Any time you hear senators or representatives at the state or federal level talking about test-based accountability, they are ignoring their own duties to properly provide for our public school children and pushing everything onto the schools, themselves.