by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses, 3/23/11, excerpt:
…thanks to the test, we now believe that we know what good and bad means in the classroom. All the teachers can learn to teach for test and, if successful, that will automatically equal good teaching. Maybe some will get merit bonuses for this.
All the students can learn to learn for the test and that, if successful, will automatically equal good learning. Some may get into better colleges for this. Besides the fact that putting so many eggs in one basket invites a lot of cheating and corruption, everyone can give a great sigh of relief.
Americans seem caught on the horns of a dilemma with all this testing and learning business.
On the one hand, they want a yardstick that can tell them if their kids are being adequately educated in a time of economic uncertainty and cultural flux. On the other, learning is something that, with but few exceptions, is not easily expressed in quantitative terms.
Nonetheless, the politicians are always going to go for the simple answer, whether it makes sense or not.
Read the full essay at To the Point Analyses