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Bipartisan agreement on two disastrous ideas
In a commentary in Education Week, Marc Tucker, Linda Darling-Hammond, and John Jackson write that Democrats and Republicans agree on two things for ESEA reauthorization: continued grade-by-grade testing, and sanctions exclusively for the lowest-achieving schools, which primarily serve low-income and immigrant students. The authors feel these provisions virtually guarantee the overall performance of our students will never equal that of our international competitors, and will further widen the gap between our top performers and our disadvantaged students. By continuing accountability requirements and high-stakes testing that effectively force states to use cheap, standardized tests, Congress will ensure our teachers have strong incentives to teach a curriculum that leaves out complex skills and knowledge. By refocusing sanctions on schools serving the most disadvantaged, Congress ensures that those who most need a top-flight education receive the most limited curriculum. Instead, Congress should require that states ensure external testing for a single grade at each of three school levels -- elementary, middle, and high school -- while continuing to report scores for vulnerable groups. Without spending more than they do now, states could employ higher-quality assessments that encourage productive teaching while reducing the testing burden on students and teachers. More
Source: Public Education News Blast
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Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) is an education support organization that works as a collaborative partner in high-poverty communities.