Thursday, April 14, 2011

Education Reform: The cookie jar is empty

In a Washington Post opinion piece, Mr. Marion Brady proposes a way to reduce the federal budget this way:

FACT: We’re told that governments at all levels—federal, state, and local—are worse than broke, and that the services they provide, including education, must be cut.

FACT: There’s one multi-billion dollar cost of educating that’s not scheduled to be cut—high-stakes, standardized testing. In fact, Arne Duncan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, says that the number of such tests is going to significantly increase.

PROPOSAL: Given present unwillingness to fully fund education, all 50 states should immediately cancel their contracts with testing companies. What teachers did for at least a century and a half before corporate interests and politicians took over education policy they can do again, at least for the duration of the present economic emergency.

Additionally, should state governments follow Mr. Brady's suggestion, the federal budget will be positively affected. Given the recent concerns expressed regarding the progress of the non-public entity producing national assessments, clearly the facts of time, money, and project scope to meet goals that exceed capability have not been adequately addressed. Under these conditions, why should that project continue?

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