2009 Testing and Assessment Archive
The First Year
Barack Obama is embarking on perhaps the biggest expansion ever of the federal role in public schools. Will his administration be successful? ASBJ puts that question, and several others, to education authorities Anne Bryant, Beverly L. Hall, Eric Hanushek, Frederick Hess, Jack Jennings, Diane Ravitch, and Andrew J. Rotherham.
National Standards Now?
Are national standards the way to improve public schools? Our new leaders are not the first to endorse more challenging standards, even national or common standards. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton called for national standards and tests, and both failed. Could the third try be a charm?
Student Testing Flaws
Accountability based exclusively on test score gains has corrupted American education. To meet accountability targets, schools focus on children just below pre-determined passing points, overlooking those already above those points and too far below to pass. Drill, test preparation, and test-taking tricks have been substituted for good instruction.
The Fate of NCLB
Scheduled for reauthorization in the last congressional session, the seven-year-old federal law was left behind during a historic campaign that was dominated by the flagging economy and the war in Iraq. Now, the clock is ticking, with a 2014 deadline looming for all students to be proficient in reading and math.