Indiana still punishes students for poor test scores. Third graders, for example, who cannot learn to pass the state reading test are retained in grade.
Indiana still punishes teachers for poor student test scores with poor evaluations and lower pay.
Indiana still punishes schools for poor student test scores with low "school grades" resulting in school closures and/or state takeovers.
Congressional districts and their political leaders don't get labeled as failures and suffer consequences for underfunded schools resulting in poor test scores.
Legislators don't get labeled as failures and suffer consequences for the damage to public schools from loss of funding diverted to charter schools and vouchers.
In a supportive educational environment, legislators and policymakers wouldn't have to hold schools "harmless." Test scores made artificially low by arbitrary cut scores, wouldn't be used for punishment. Resources would be provided where they are needed.
The quotes below dealing with testing, poverty, and academic achievement, are from 2005-2016...but are just as meaningful today as they were when they were written...because very little has changed.
TESTING, POVERTY, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Say No to Standardized Tests
by Russ Walsh, March 25, 2016
The only thing that standardized tests measure with any certainty is the relative income levels of the children who attend that school. All standardized tests do, year after year, is affirm that we have an achievement gap, which can better be understood as an opportunity gap. Where kids have rich and rewarding opportunities to grow and thrive, they do well on these tests. Where they don’t have these opportunities, they do not do well. We do not need yearly tests to tell us that. All we need do is walk down the streets of a leafy suburb and then walk down the street of an inner city neighborhood.
my response to john merrow
by A Teacher Anon, February 7, 2015
The problem, in terms of academic achievement as measured by invalid tests, is poverty. Period. Why that elephant continues to be ignored is obvious. If not ignored, then that would mean politicians would have to do something about it. They would finally have to be serving the people rather than corporations and billionaires.
Arne's Dumb Expectations
by Peter Greene, March 16, 2015
Imagine how different education would reform would play out if we just changed half of the following sentence. Instead of
Where we find failing schools and students, we must hold teachers and school districts responsible for their failure to properly teach those studentswe could instead say
Where we find failing schools and students, we must hold politicians responsible for their failure to properly support those schools with needed resources.
Our Impoverished View of Educational Reform
by David Berliner, August 2, 2005
There are, of course, thousands of studies showing correlations between poverty and academic achievement. Nothing there will surprise us, though I do wonder why, after hundreds of studies showing that cigarettes were related to a great number of serious illnesses we eventually came to believe that the relationship between smoking and cancer, or smoking and emphysema, was causal. And yet when we now have research establishing analogous connections between poverty and educational attainment we ignore them. Instead we look for other causal mechanisms, like low expectations of teachers, or the quality of teachers’ subject matter knowledge, to explain the relationship.
Maybe it’s Time to Ask the Teachers?
by Linda Darling-Hammond, March 20, 2012
American teachers deal with a lot: low pay, growing class sizes and escalating teacher-bashing from politicians and pundits. Federal testing and accountability mandates under No Child Left Behind and, more recently, Race to the Top, have added layers of bureaucracy while eliminating much of the creativity and authentic learning that makes teaching enjoyable. Tack on the recession’s massive teacher layoffs and other school cuts, plus the challenges of trying to compensate for increasing child poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, and you get a trifecta of disincentives to become, or remain, a teacher.
Parents, Poverty and Achieving in School
by Gerald Bracey, August 20, 2007
When people have said “poverty is no excuse,” my response has been, “Yes, you’re right. Poverty is not an excuse. It’s a condition. It’s like gravity. Gravity affects everything you do on the planet. So does poverty.”
Children Deserve Veterinary Care Too
by Barbara Ehrenreich, July 26, 2007
...let me cite the case, reported in June by Bob Herbert of the New York Times, of Diamonte Driver, a 12-year old boy who died recently from an abscessed tooth because he had no insurance and his mother could not afford $80 to have the tooth pulled. Could a vet have handled this problem? Yes, absolutely.
Or there’s the case of 14-year old Devante Johnson, also reported by Herbert, who died when his health insurance ran out in the middle of treatment for kidney cancer. I don’t know exactly what kind of treatment he was getting, but I suspect that the $1.25 million linear accelerator for radiation therapy available at one of New York’s leading pet hospitals might have helped. The Times article also mentions a mixed breed named Bullwinkle who consumed $7000 worth of chemotherapy before passing on to his reward. Surely Devante could have benefited from the same kind of high quality pet care, delivered at a local upscale animal hospital.
It may seem callous to focus on children when so many pets go uninsured and without access to CT-scans or underwater treadmills. But in many ways, children stack up well compared to common pets. They can shed real tears, like Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. They can talk as well as many of the larger birds, or at least mimic human speech. And if you invest enough time in their care and feeding, they will jump all over you when you arrive at the door, yipping and covering your face with drool.
by Doghouse Riley, September 20, 2005
h/t Doug Masson
And as we all know, the Bush administration, proudly upholding the tradition of a political party which wanted to abolish the federal Department of Education as little as ten years ago, has added requirements via the Infinite Justice for Left Behind Children Act designed to prove that inner-city schools are failures right before we slash their funding, put the students in a lottery to attend schools run by the private sector, and call the whole thing off before it affects too many white people.
Let children be children / Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected?
by Penelope H. Bevan, June 3, 2007
The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucking the soul out of the primary school experience for both teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy that comes but once in their lifetime, the happy messiness of paint, clay, Tinkertoys and jumping rope, the quiet discovery of a shiny new book of interest to them, the wonders of a magnifying glass. The teachers around them, under constant pressure to raise those test scores, radiate urgency and pressure. Their smiles are grim. They are not enjoying their jobs.
Our children need parents and teachers who, like Hamlet, know a hawk from a hand saw, who know foolishness when they see it and are strong enough to defend these small souls from the onslaught of escalating developmentally inappropriate claptrap. The great unspoken secret of primary school is that a lot of what is going on is arrant nonsense, and it's getting worse.