Saturday, March 20, 2010

According to Diane Ravitch....

Dr. Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education for the US Department of Education writes in her new award winning book "The Death and Life of the Great American School System" that:

“Our schools ...

... will not improve if we value only what tests measure

... will not improve if we rely exclusively on tests as the means of deciding the fate of students, teachers, principals, and schools

... cannot be improved by blind worship of data

- "The test scores were a huge disappointment to say the least"- political literature by a group known as KIDS FIRST in Hoboken, NJ.

- "State education scores are in, Bayonne and Hoboken excel,"- A local newspaper, The Jersey Journal, and their professional analysis of the *SAME* test scores.

Our schools will not improve if test scores are used as political footballs and opportunities for political gain. Rather, test scores need to be one of multiple assessments used to evaluate effective curriculum and instructional practices. Sophisticated data analysis is needed in order to properly inform curriculum and instruction. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and elevated if schools and school districts, like that in Hoboken, NJ, are to provide 21st Century Skills and content knowledge needed to be competitive in a global economy.

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University. Ravitch has written or edited more than twenty books, including The Language Police,The Great School Wars, The Troubled Crusade, The American Reader,The English Reader, and Left Back. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Picture: Hoboken Board of Education from