Harvard Prof. Howard Gardner makes a great point in his letter to the NYT in response to the D.O.E.'s announcement that Pearson was changing its admissions exam for the gifted and talented programs.
What we test for signals what we ultimately desire. The use of tests for which 4-year-olds can be prepped signals that we want to find those youngsters who can do well on future tests. In that way, the process works perfectly — whether in China or in New York City.
If we desired people who were likely to make creative advances, we would look for youngsters — be they 4 or 14 — who have a passionate interest that they pursue without a lot of prodding. If we desired people who would help build a more civil and more generous society, we would look for 10- or 12-year-olds who have found a need in their school or community and have taken steps to help meet that need.
In the unlikely event that these skills could be coached, at least we would end up with adults who could not simply ace the next standardized test.
Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 18, 2013
|Growing movement to dump Vallas in Bridgeport|
Working Families has three representatives on the nine-member school board and this week the party launched an online "Fire Paul Vallas" petition. Vallas is in the process of being evaluated by the board and the matter is expected to come to a vote on March 11.
Vallas has left a trail of tears from teachers and parents in his wake as he's moved as the corporate reformers' hired gun from Chicago, to Philly, to New Orleans and Bridgeport (with stops in Haiti and Chile), privatizing school districts and busting unions.