In Our Opinion: If tests contingency stay, afterwards import them fairly

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Posted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 6:00 am

In Our Opinion: If tests contingency stay, afterwards import them fairly

Mandate relief” was a common word during a final selecting cycle, generally when articulate about education. It valid to be one of a singular issues that Republicans and Democrats seemed to determine on. True, a lot of that speak was about Common Core. But over that, it was about a flourishing clarity that schools are apropos overly contingent on high-stakes contrast pleasantness of a 2001 No Child Left Behind law. 

So a new defence by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to revamp No Child Left Behind should have been greeted with unrestrained from both sides of a aisle. 

But Duncan’s debate unsuccessful to live adult to expectations in some regards. 

While he spoke eloquently about a need for a open preparation complement to improved offer at-risk and minority students — and a prerequisite of increasing appropriation to accomplish those and other goals — Duncan also done it transparent that his dialect was not peaceful to behind divided from a annual statewide tests for students in grades 3-8. 

It is those really tests that have valid disgusting to many parents. It is those really tests that a flourishing series of relatives are selecting to “opt out” from. So while we know what Duncan meant when he pronounced that “I am positively assured that we need to know how most swell students are making,” we also wish he is successful when he says “we will work with Congress to titillate states and districts to examination and streamline a tests they are giving and discharge surplus and nonessential tests.” 

The problem is, Congress has to be on house with this plan, too. And if a initial response from Republicans is any indication, Duncan and a Obama administration are in for a extreme fight. 

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Texas has due legislation that would concede whole states to opt out of a contrast for students in grades 3-8, though Duncan shot it down, observant it “makes discretionary distant too most of what a law needs to ensure the guarantee of a title.” 

Given that this line in a silt seems to be drawn quite starkly, we wish that Republicans and Democrats can instead strech agreement, not about a tests themselves, though about how a exam information is put to use. 

We know a internal students tend to perform good on these tests — a fact that gives us honour in a internal propagandize system. But we also know that internal teachers, relatives and students are disturbed about a vigour put on students relations to these tests, since a stakes seem to be impossibly high. 

Duncan urged Congress to “dispense with No Child Left Behind, and give states some-more flexibility.” We wish this will meant that fewer schools — and students, and teachers — compensate too high a cost for bad opening on tests that seem to be here to stay. 


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Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 6:00 am.

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