Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Florida's Testing Freaks

Florida's test-crazy Gov. Rick Scott and his ed adviser, Michelle Rhee.
If you want to see the depths to which Florida's Dept. of Ed. testing freaks can sink, see Valerie Strauss' story in today's WaPo about a Florida mom Andrea Rediske’s fight to help families of children with severe disabilities. Warning -- it's not a story for the faint of heart.

MORE...And now they're raising the testing bar to cut the number of recipients of the state's Bright Futures scholarships from 1 in 3 to 1 in 8 qualifying students.
"There's only so much money to go around for education. If you're giving a merit-based award, it should be to the top students in the state," said state Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale.
But according to blogger, Deep Purple Musings,
 Moraitis never misses a chance to propose legislation which lines the pockets of rich charter school operators, now wants to strengthen the hand of big testing companies. The more times a family has to pay for another test, the more money they make. A much better predictor of future success has always been a student’s performance in the classroom. 
AND THEN THERE'S PISA... Yong Zhao tells us how the international testing competition race to the bottom has pushed China off the deep end. His advice to the U.S., whose PISA scores (misleadingly averaging wealthy and poor student scores) is:
Until OECD-PISA became the only employer in the world with PISA scores as the only qualification, I would not suggest lawyers and doctors in the U.S., U.K., or any nation to replace your children’s activities in music, arts, sports, dancing, debates, and field trips with math tutoring. For the same reason, it is not time yet for schools in developed countries to close your swimming pools, burn your musical instruments, end museums visits, or fire your art teachers.

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