Monday, March 5, 2007

Test-Prep Triage

Today the "window" opens for the state testing in Colorado to begin, and other states assess the year's work in March, as we do here. Thus, it seems particularly fitting to share this story from Maryland about a test-prep method that may or may not be ethical. No one disagrees that the stakes are high. Reasonable people might disagree about the methods this principal allegedly used--but we also know only the parts of the story revealed here. What do you think?

1 comment:

evan said...

this principal appears to have acted in the best interest of her students and faculty. No Child Left Behind includes some formidable if-then structures that sometimes fail to consider and address the actual needs of particular schools and districts. in this case, it seems that Foose dealt with a poor pre-existing situation by swiftly taking measures to avoid inappropriate sanctions or closure. while her approach is not one to model as an ongoing solution to the test preparation question, i do not find it to be unethical in this particular instance. clearly, i disagree with the thinly veiled opinion of Daniel de Vise, the Wash Post staff writer who wrote the article.

perhaps this is for another comment, but it seems to apply here: at this point, it seems that NCLB is no longer newsworthy, yet the actions educators take in order to mold their school cultures around this legislation have become journalistic sitting ducks. as a teacher, i have a particular viewpoint as well, though my journalism background informs my opinion that teachers and local administrators are being vilified while the structures in place that create the impeti for the stories we read are somehow beyond scrutiny or are accepted as permanent invincible doctrine. is the public understanding of high stakes testing becoming skewed simply because journalists have decided the local actions of educators rally readership while discussion of the overarching federal legislation induces premature page turning?