Thursday, July 30, 2009

AYP: Other Voices, Same Lament

As we approach the eduwonk holiday of "Standardized Test Results Release Day" (now August 4th in New Mexico), how about some contextual input from other folks around the country? This morning's quote comes from an editorial in the Frederick News Post, Frederick, Maryland:

NCLB's heart was in the right place. Its intent was to ensure that special needs, economically disadvantaged, non-native speakers of English, and other vulnerable subgroups within a school population not be left behind. But has the bar been set too high for the schools that are diligently trying to educate these kids?

The ground rules for schools achieving AYP are neither reasonable nor fair. In fact, they're an onerous disservice to our school system, its individual schools and their administrators and teachers.

Indeed, no child should be left behind where public education is concerned. But neither is it fair to stigmatize an entire school and its staff because one, possibly small, challenging subgroup within its student population fails to make AYP.

"...onerous disservice to our school system, its individual schools and their administrators and teachers." Nice. I'll have to steal that one, only I'd add the point that most onerous of all is the disservice to those Special Education students and English Language Learners themselves.

Still, if I were to see an August 5, 2009 editorial in a New Mexico newspaper with statements like the quote above, I'd probably need immediate medical attention. That Grade III concussion I'd get from hitting my head on the floor as I fell out of my chair in disbelief would be a doozy.

P.S.: Come to think of it, if a simple concussion could lead to changing this "onerous disservice" I think I'd be willing to do it...much simpler than lobbying, protesting, phone calls, letter-writing and all that. Probably less brain damage as well.

1 comment:

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