Friday, February 24, 2012

"This is Madness" - Updated

So says Diane Ravitch, describing the astonishing doubling-down on teaching to the test now underway in New York State and nationally. As she notes, the Obama Administration is directly culpable for this. Our President may say in SOTU that we shouldn't teach to the test -- but he is dramatically increasing that in practice.

And what of Gov. Cuomo, he of the gay-marriage halo effect? This way political irrelevance lies. "Taking on education" (aka embracing the agenda of today's conventional-wisdom education "reform") seems to be the policy crack of our age. No Child has now been Left Behind by everyone -- witness a hall of Arizona Republicans loudly booing Rick Santorum for having voted for it at this week's debate. Making it his signature issue doomed Bloomberg to "he wasn't Giuliani" in the history books (and prepared that great educational reformer Joel Klein to become Hack-in-Chief Rupert Murdoch's defense attorney). And my bet is that it will at least do serious damage to Cuomo's presidential hopes.

We need a smarter approach to educating our political leaders on education. They keep failing the test.

Update: It is encouraging that the Grey Lady seems to have woken up to the sham that is "education reform." Witness two devastating pieces by or about persuasively wonderful teachers (both in Brooklyn) whom the test-mad regime labels "bad": A Sunday op-ed by William Johnson and a commentary today by Michael Winerip. There was even a sort-of public retreat from "reform" funder-in-chief Bill Gates.

The money quote from the Winerip piece:
"If city officials were trying to demoralize and humiliate the workforce, they’ve done a terrific job. News organizations get an assist for publishing the scores, and former Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein deserves a special nod for enthusiastically supporting the release."

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