Leaving behind a school

Students are leaving a California school with falling test scores and incidents of violence. That’s how NCLB is supposed to work, observes Kimberly Swygert. OK, it was once a “distinguished school” — an honor handed out rather lavishly — but things change, and sometimes for the worse.

Right on the Left Coast, a teacher, writes:

If you’re given a poor curriculum and your school performs poorly, that’s not NCLB’s fault. That fault belongs to your school and district administrators.

If you’re in California and you blame NCLB for testing, you’re misinformed. California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting system pre-dates NCLB by a few years. It was passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature and signed by Democrat Governor Gray Davis. STAR’s testing requirements, both in subjects tested and grades tested, are more stringent than NCLB.

f you’re a teacher and you complain that the test isn’t aligned to the standards, that’s your state’s fault. States choose the tests that are given.

If you’re a teacher and you complain about having to spend too much time prepping for the test, that isn’t NCLB’s fault. Either an administrator is foolishly mandating that or you’re not teaching to standards.

Chicago is closing three persistently low-performing schools, but exempting others that are nearly as bad, writes Alex Russo. Most students leaving closed schools will be sent to other underperforming schools.

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  1. Not quite right. Gray Davis wasn’t responsible for standardized testing in California. California’s Standardized Testing requirements were signed into law by Govenor Pete Wilson in 1998.

    Prior to 1998, schools in California could use whatever test they wished to measure their progress, or lack thereof. Wilson insisted that a common metric be used so it would be possible to cross compare schools. It was a bit haphazard in that the state just used an off the shelf test and some schools, justifiably, complained that they were being tested on material that had yet to be taught or wasn’t even part of the California curriculum. It took a bit of sorting out before tests that were aligned with the nascent standards were created.

    Nonetheless, it was Wilson, not Davis, who laid the groundwork that California schools would use a common test.