Monday, November 29, 2004

Those Federal Tests Again!

Schools everywhere are under enormous pressure to raise test scores. This is being done partly to appease parents and other local groups, but mostly in order to keep an overbearing federal government from labeling schools as underperforming. Educators are exploring all possible avenues for increasing those test scores, ever how incrementally.

Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader is reporting that a new state rule requires that students that have attended a school less than 100 days should not have their scores count when measuring the school's overall performance. This has resulted in some 7000 students having their scores excluded for this year. The scores do count for the purpose of assessing the district and state.

It is the 'Wonks opinion that this is a good policy. Before a particular child's test score is used to measure a given school's performance, common sense would dictate that the school should have a fair opportunity to instruct the pupil.

And yet even this common sense approach is being heavily criticized. And you can bet that the most vociferous critics are people that have never worked in a classroom, and wouldn't do so on a bet.