The Oregonian has run yet another dim-witted education editorial demanding that the best things for our schools is more of the test-and-punish approach. That has not been shown to work anywhere, and is in the opposite direction of what other high-achieving nations do. China, for crying out loud, is modeling its schools on how the U.S. used to run schools. Less teaching-to-the-test, more expanded curriculum.
When The Oregonian sniffs at parents doing what is best for their students, and ignorantly frets about the effects to schools, it ignores two major things: 1.) Opting-out is a legal right; 2.) High-stakes testing does not work to improve education. Why isn’t The Oregonian talking about high student poverty rates? Economic disparity? That, in a time of record national wealth and profits, people have been working harder with stagnant income to show for it? That the Federal government is setting a national curriculum though it is illegal for it to do so?
High-stakes testing is like a hostage situation where the more we comply with the demands, the more the stakes increase. It’s well past time to break that cycle and put into place education approaches that are proven to work, not what some business person put on a slide somewhere as a neat idea to give a whirl upon millions of kids.