High-stakes testing is causing great damage
Thank you for running the March 22 New York Times article, “Are test scores the whole story?” While The Buffalo News editorial board has freely blasted public school teachers for sounding the alarm about high-stakes testing, it has been very supportive of charter schools. If the demise of charter schools will open the eyes of the editorial board and the public, I say, “So be it!”
The aforementioned story describes the failure of a charter school under this country’s test-and-punish system. Charter schools enjoy the freedom of selecting their students. They have the luxury of holding students and their families accountable. This charter school also has the funds – drained from local public schools – to provide truly excellent wraparound services for its otherwise at-risk students.
Based on comparative graduation rates, the school seems to be doing quite well. However, based on the nebulously calculated “adequate yearly progress” scores, it is labeled “low performing.”
What is the problem? A test designed by a for-profit company is wooing its way into billions while robbing our children of their future. That company is creating a crisis that does not exist. Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis; it simply does not involve every teacher and student in every school in America.
We have to stop dismantling public education because it is easier to make scapegoats of teachers than it is to address the problems of poverty.