Why are school officials trying so hard to sell CSAP to the community? How good are their own math skills, especially in Prediction and Probability? How can they believe it is possible to get 100% of students to score proficient or better by 2014?
The AYP graphs of most schools show very modest progress toward that goal, kind of like a hike up a gentle slope. But now with only three years left to reach the 100% proficiency goal, we find ourselves standing in front of a steep mountain. Scores have to spike like an 8 or 8.9 quake on the Richter scale! It’s not going to happen, so almost all schools will fail.
This ingenious scheme was designed with enormous influence from business corporations, including McGraw-Hill (the one that makes the CSAP, as well as tests for 25 other states) so money could be made by selling tests, and also curriculum to schools that need improvement. McGraw-Hill, one of several publishing companies, earns several hundred million of dollars in profit each year. On their extensive website you can read the following [emphasis mine]. It sounds as if they had nothing to do with the reforms and the focus on testing. Of course, the PR people who write this are just as unknowing as most everyone else.
“Testing has been a pivotal part of American education since early in this century when educators began to seek more reliable and valid means to evaluate students and programs. In the past 40 years, there has been explosive growth and profound change in education.
At every step of the way, educational assessment has responded with innovation in measurement and technical expertise. In the past ten years alone, the field of testing has undergone tremendous change because of the emphasis on education reform and development of new education standards.“
Also, if a school cannot be “improved”, it will be privatized! That’s what’s at stake under the impossible demands of No Child Left Behind. Many schools across the nation that used to be public are now run by private, profit-seeking companies or organizations that are paid with taxpayer monies; voucher money, so to speak.
The only difference is that such money is not used for families who want to find a better school. The choice is made for all parents of a neighborhood school who were not seeking a change, but are saddled with it anyway.
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