Tuesday, June 19, 2007

EdTrust "Going On" FEA

The Education Trust has released a statement in reaction to last Thursday’s Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) NCLB guidelines release saying that the guidelines “represent a giant step backward in the effort to both raise achievement and close longstanding gaps.” Furthermore EdTrust claims that by issuing these guidelines FEA has offended any American who is interested in equity and mocked the idea of high standards for all.

For the record FEA published some lofty and admirable goals in their Assessment and Accountability for Improving Schools and Learning. The panel presentation I attended was solid. Long overdue for implementation, but long in the tooth as ideas, the panel advocated for things like more formative assessments, appropriate tests for ELL students, locally constructed assessments for accountability, and further disaggregation of data by socio-economic as well as racial subgroups.

This response from EdTrust doesn't surprise me one bit. Of course one might say EdTrust are reacting to hypothetical tests since the tests FEA are arguing for don't yet exist. It would be prudent of EdTrust to see what these tests would look like, how teachers respond, how students perform, before they cast "dumbing-down" aspersions. Contrary to popular belief, rigor isn't something we can measure with a measuring cup. We espouse and advocate and legislate individual education plans (it's a civil right for heaven's sake), but the world must stop if we decide to extend that same right to evaluation.

EdTrust takes a hard line and they have kid's interests at heart which is good. I just always picture the kids they try to help. These kids, if they were exposed to any of these behind-the-scenes policy shenanigans would think they are getting hurt not helped by EdTrust’s decisions.

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