Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Rell v. Spellings

Hartford Courant political columnist Michelle Jacklin defends Republican Gov. Jodi Rell in this morning's edition for bucking the Republican establishment by signing on to the lawsuit against No Child Left Behind.

Although the focus of the lawsuit is funding, in fact the most destructive element of NCLB is its mindless adherence to annual testing. State Education Commissioner Betty Sternberg asked the feds for relief from having to administer tests in grades 3, 5 and 7 because the state already tests children in grades 4, 6, 8 and 10, and has for 20 years.

The request was denied. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said the additional tests are a cornerstone of the law. She accused Connecticut of fearing the results. "Parents want to know where their children stand," she sermonized.

Spellings is living in a fantasyland if she thinks parents - at least those who care - don't already know "where their children stand" from the reams of data generated by the current crop of tests, report cards and teacher conferences.

The lawsuit could have been averted had Spellings allowed Connecticut to test every other year instead of every year. But, according to Spellings, that went against the "bright lines" of NCLB, whatever the hell that means.

Jacklin makes an excellent point. If you don't know how you're kid is doing in school already, with all the reams of data coming out of schools these days -- not to mention the old fashioned method of, well, spending time with your kids -- then a few more tests aren't going to make the difference. Sorry. But they won't.

This lawsuit is silly-- not because Connecticut doesn't have a case. They do. It's silly because the Education Dept. and Spellings could have so easily avoided it.


Blogger Superdestroyer said...

Judging by the comments of parents based upon the children's report cards, 75% of parents think their children are above average. Yet, those same parents are amazed to find out that their children need remedial training once they attend college.

4:45 AM  

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