knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

The state of Tennessee just released its findings in the "No Child Left Behind" testing program. Result: miserable failure for Knox County. All surprised people, raise your hands. That's what I thought. The big shocker was that certain subgroups fell further behind than others. These groups include: black and economically disadvantaged students. [For those of you outside of Knox County, yes, those are two separate groups.] What are the odds? What would SKBubba have to say about something like this? Much.

Draw battlelines now, kiddos.

I'm with the Guv on this one so far. I think we should demand more, and measure it in the best way we know how. This is going to identify the areas that need the most help. What's wrong with that?

The principle argument from the opposition is tendered here by Tennessee Education Association President Judy Beasley:
"The so-called No Child Left Behind law relies totally on standardized tests, forcing teachers to teach to the test and interfering with real learning. It forces all children into a one-size-fits-all model even though we know that children learn in different ways and at different rates."

Point taken, but we're not trying to measure the performance of one student. We're going for the performance of a very large group of students. Not all of those individuals will respond appropriately to the testing because of specific nuances of learning and experience. The large group, however, will be rather accurately profiled with this sort of testing.

Of course, the state probably isn't helping itself by calling these "target" schools. That does make it sound a bit like practice at the shooting range.
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