With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, October 29, 2010

The 100 schools with the most "posh"

The Sun-Times headline reads, "Posh Schools Make Grade." They aren't kidding. Of the 100 top elementary schools in Illinois, not one has 50% or more, low-income kids.

Among the 100 top high schools and elementary schools, there's not a single charter school and all 100 have unionized teachers.

As usual, standardized test scores are the only criteria used in determining "top schools." If you take them seriously, students seem to be getting dumber as they move from elementary to high school. I don't take them seriously.
Meanwhile, state Schools Supt. Christopher Koch noted the increasing "disconnect'' between the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests, which 80.9 percent of all third- through eighth-graders passed, and the Prairie State Achievement Exam, which only 53 percent of all high school juniors passed. State education officials declared the "discrepancy" in performance demanded "urgent attention'' but new, tougher tests will not be released until 2014.
The answer, of course, is change the test. It's like trying to lose weight by buying a new scale.

Regardless, the current testing system will remain with us for now and though contradictory and confusing, will continue to be used as the primary, high-stakes way to judge students, teachers, and schools.

On the other hand, I guess you can safely say that families in wealthier neighborhoods are not interested charter schools, non-certified, nor non-unionized teachers and that no matter which standardized test is used, their kids will, on average, score higher.That should tell us what we're really measuring.

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