Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nebraska Politics: Stop K-12 Multi-Test Craziness

I'm sometimes hard on my friend and former colleague, Nebraska State Senator Ron Raikes, on matters involving K-12 education. But he's dead right on the need for statewide testing of K-12 students.

Several years ago the Nebraska Department of Education abandoned statewide testing and instead let school districts develop their own tests to measure student achievement.

It’s a way to cover for poorly performing schools that would be exposed by a statewide standard. The cover-up works because there is no common standard by which student performance can be measured. It’s a homer job in each district.

You’d think educators would understand that it makes no sense to have the school districts being evaluated grade themselves. Hey, look at this: according to this test that we designed just for ourselves, we’re doing great!

Senator Raikes said he won’t pursue legislation if the department of education will go back to a statewide standard. Please, give us one objective statewide measure for K-12 student achievement in Nebraska.

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