The page 1 headline screams Scores Up Since ‘No Child’ Was Signed.
A “major independent study” says that students test scores on state reading and math tests are “significantly better” in the five years since NCLB was singed into law.
So, NCLB must be a big success and deserves to be renewed, right?
But only if you believe that passing standardized tests is the same thing as learning. If taking up a large part of the school year drilling on basic facts is really preparing students for living in the real world.
If you’re convinced that treating every student, every school, every classroom, every teacher exactly the same is good professional practice, then by all means sign us up for another five years.
Then there’s the matter of test quality. Since every state gets to determine what “passing” means, do you seriously think the tests themselves are even valid indicators of the narrow skill set they’re supposed to measure?
Many politicians will go for the simple conclusion when reading this study (more likely the executive summary), but let’s face facts.
The only thing the research really shows is that our kids are getting much better at taking standardized tests.
A skill that adults rarely have occasion to use.