Running against testing

In Florida, Texas and Ohio, politicians are making high-stakes testing a campaign issue, reports the Washington Post. In Florida, the candidates for governor are arguing over the state test, which affects teacher pay, school budgets and promotion to fourth grade.

Republican Charlie Crist is offering to push forward with the testing regime, but Democrat Jim Davis has condemned what he calls its “punitive” nature, arguing that exam pressures have transformed schools into “dreary test-taking factories.”

But low-performing students have made “real gains” in Florida, Eduwonk notes. And national polls show public support for standards and testing.

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  1. Are the people that are “dreary” the teachers and principals whose students are failing? If I were a voter there I’d check on that before deciding to support a candidate who wanted to stop the testing. Even in our local public schools they spend very little time on standardized testing. In my daughter’s school the spend precisely 3 days a year, and they teach test-taking as a skill (which the kids will certainly need later in life). By 8th grade every single kid every year scores in the top 1% in every category (at least they have in the first 12 years of the school).