The title of an article from December caught my eye, “Race to the Top” a short run to failure. But the subtitle piqued my interest, Obama’s new education plan is inherently flawed in its ignorance of reality and the factors influencing the lackluster performance of our schools.
So, food for thought on standardized tests from the next generation:
As was the case with No Child Left Behind, the stated goals of Race to the Top sound like no-brainers, but it is in the implementation that this plan fails to fundamentally improve the education system.
Specifically, the continued emphasis on standardized tests is alarming, the large focus on charter schools is unfortunate and the proposals for dealing with failing schools are unnecessarily and ineffectively harsh and disturbingly oversimplified.
Unfortunately, we can’t escape our unwarranted fixation on standardized tests as a method of evaluating students and teachers. I’ve written extensively about this in a previous column, so let me summarize:
“To expect a teacher to teach to a test is unreasonable because it expects the teacher to narrow his or her curriculum, rather than expand it, in the sense of depth rather than breadth of course. This ultimately does a disservice to students … To expect that students from all ranges of the spectrum of human experience can be measured by the same standards is highly ambitious and fairly absurd.”
Read “Race to the Top” a short run to failure by Jesse Goldberg writing for the student newspaper The Lamaron. The author also critiques competition in education in this same piece.