I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, April 8, 2011

Presidential Newspeak

Some serious education spinning from the White House:
On Wednesday, Mr. Hamilton said in an interview that there was no daylight between Mr. Duncan and the president. The expansion of testing that the Education Department favors would actually reduce pressure on teachers, he said.
Instead of year-end tests that the federal government now uses to hold schools accountable, many students will soon be tested two or more times a year to measure their progress.
At the administration’s urging last year, several states enacted laws to evaluate teachers in part based on students’ growth on tests. That will require students to be given standardized tests more than once a year.
At the same time, teachers can use the results from these so-called formative assessments to respond to students’ needs.
“We’re reducing the reliance on high-stakes testing, saying you shouldn’t tie an entire evaluation to one test,” Mr. Hamilton said. “Some people may think a test is a test and there’s no distinction between a formative assessment and a summative assessment, but we disagree. We think we should be measuring student growth and learning, and this is information that parents and teachers want.”
So, it's high-stakes to evaluate schools based on one yearly standardized test, but it's not high-stakes to evaluate a teacher on several standardized tests a year. Big Brother would be proud of this illogic.

By the way, there is already a tool in place to give parents and students the feedback they need on a student's growth:

It's called a report card.

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