Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Perverse Logic of School Reform in the US- Follow the Data Trail

1. Education Policy in the US is being shaped by business leaders and lawyers.
2..Business people and lawyers worship data. They see data gathering as essential to quality control and compliance with the law.
3. To insure that American public schools have high level of performance as well as equity, business leaders and lawyers demand comprehensive data on school, teacher and student performance.
4,. The only way to get that kind of data on schools teachers and students is to introduce a program of comprehensive testing that touches every subject and every grade from pre-K through Higher Education.
5. The level of testing they require, along with the consequences they insist on for poor performance, fundamentally changes the nature of teaching and learning. Teaching to the test squeezes out joy, creativity, spontaneity and relationship building.
6. Data gathering gone mad becomes the norm in every school district in every state, making teachers hate their jobs and students hate school.
7...American public schools, once seen however imperfectly, as places where democratic values are practiced and passed on from generation to generation, become zones of fear and stress which students, teachers and families try to escape
8. A Nation, once it finally wakes up, begins to mourn what it lost.