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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|It requires a little bit of painful reading (legislative-ese), but Governor Ritter's signature education reform from this session is a meaningless bit of bureaucratic shell-gaming. All you really need to know is this pair of exceptions built into Part 3:|
. . .SCHOOL READINESS ASSESSMENTS SHALL NOT BE USED TO DENY A
STUDENT ADMISSION OR PROGRESSION TO KINDERGARTEN OR FIRST
(b) SCHOOL READINESS ASSESSMENT RESULTS SHALL NOT BE
PUBLICLY REPORTED FOR INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS . . .
So, exactly, what is the point of the "readiness assessment"? If they may not be used to influence admission or progression, then we are really doing nothing but forcing ourselves into another test?
What? You think a teacher doesn't know within two weeks whether or not a student is ready? Of course they do. So what's the point of the test? Let me submit to you that the only useful purpose of the test would be to screen children who are not ready for school.
Seem harsh? Imagine the cost of condemning a room of 25 5-yr. olds to slow and/or no growth for a year because the teacher is too busy trying to keep the 3 kids who are not ready for school on task. It's a recipe for mediocrity.
It's about time we started looking at THAT as harsh.
And,I suppose, it matters very much what "publicly reported" means; will the schools be reporting to the parents their kids' readiness result? Is THAT public? Or is this simply talking about media reports? Because I think its fine that you don't make the results of a specific 5 yr-olds' readiness level the stuff of a newspaper article; but there are a number of people who deserve to have that information about their kid--it may influence certain behaviors!
At any rate, if the program is designed to start by hiding the meaningless results of a new mystery test, then I don't think I'm going to get very excited about the rest of program.
I'll dive more into this bill tomorrow.