My review of Linda Perlstein’s Tested is in today’s San Jose Mercury News. I like the book’s inside-the-classroom look at what it means to “teach to the test” at a formerly low-performing Maryland elementary school. Students aren’t taught a broad, rich curriculum, but at least they’re being taught something. Which is a change.
Before No Child Left Behind pressured low-performing schools to raise reading and math scores, Tyler Heights wasn’t developing critical thinkers, creative writers and lovers of learning. It’s hard to develop a love of learning if you’re not learning.
Once the school had posted two years of decent test scores, teachers began discussing how to teach writing, science and social studies, which had been squeezed from the curriculum.