Friday, February 11, 2011

Just two more years until we are all “Failing Schools.”

Just a reminder that the center piece of No Child left Behind is that all schools will have all students testing at “proficient” or above in reading and math by 2014.

100% of schools

100% of students “Proficient” or above

That figure includes the kids who are in the process of dropping out; it includes the kids who have been in America only a few years or a few weeks and don’t yet speak English; it includes kids with special needs; it includes the kids with chronic attendance problems; it includes the kids living in abject poverty; it includes the kids who live in violent neighborhoods.

It includes Kevin (not his real name) who was shot last weekend.  Kevin was one of my kids last year.  Together with his mom and through a Herculean effort, the three of us succeeded in getting his grades from a series of “F’s” to mainly “D’s” and “C’s”. 

It included Shannon (not her real name) who ran away from home in October.  None of the adults in her life knew where she was until the police arrested her on the streets of Oakland and returned her home in February. 

I wonder if they’ll be ready for his high-stakes tests in Spring.  I wonder if the Value-added gurus have sophisticated enough formulas to determine the effectiveness of Kevin and Shannon’s teachers.

I wonder if we can take a deep breath and remember that education is a lot more complex than the score on a single test.

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