Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The true co$t of NCLB

Many schools don't have enough money to fix leaking roofs or pay for updated textbooks. Teachers still make squat compared to other professionals. But don't worry about the nation's test producing corporations. They're doing just fine, thank you.

According to an Education Week article, in order to keep up with the requirements of No Child Left Behind:

[T]he Government Accountability Office estimates that states will have to spend between $1.9 billion and $5.3 billion in the next six years, depending on the types of tests used.

But wait, it gets worse when you factor in college entrance exams.

Eduventures, a Boston-based independent research firm, estimates that the pre-K-12 assessment market—including revenues from state tests, formative assessments used to inform teaching and learning on an ongoing basis, college-entrance exams and preparation for those exams, and catalog or off-the-shelf tests— totaled $1.81 billion in 2003. But that figure could jump as high as $2.29 billion by 2006, with the highest growth in state assessment programs.

I think we have to keep in mind that there is little, if any, credible research (can anyone show me some?) that testing improves learning. Testing isn't actually designed to improve learning, just measure it. Doesn't this seem like an excessive amount to spend on measurement, considering the financial state of most schools?


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