Either you believe it…

Started reading one of the new journalist-not-academic spends a year at a school book to determine whether testing is having an impact or not.

And there’s lots of recent debate in various educational blogs about NCLB and its renewal.

Here’s the thing: either you believe that standardized tests measure something or you don’t.

If you believe, then you can look at pretty graphs and form all sorts of judgments. You can put yourself on the back for connecting accountability with these numbers and you can fret over the children and schools that just can’t seem to get it together.

But what if you don’t believe? What if you think these numbers measure nothing more than a child’s performance with a number two pencil on a single school morning? What if you think that what it takes to read and write effectively can never be measured on a standardized test?

What if you’ve spent enough time in schools to see the difference between test results when it’s the only thing focused upon versus those days when schools had other goals in mind?

I know schools are mandated to take standardized tests, but what happens if a parents refuse to send their kids to school that week? Can a principal mandate a test? I know that the number of children who take the test is included in the results but what would happen if a parent flat out refused to allow their kid into the room while the testing was taking place?

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