Failed by a failing system?

By Murray Bourne, 08 Apr 2007

The "No Child Left Behind" policy in the US is 5 years old. There are many problems with the large number of standardized tests, according to an article on Bloomberg.com (no longer available). The tests are administered differently in each state, by different companies and to different standards.

The U.S. is in a testing frenzy. Students in the 92,816 American public schools will take at least 45 million standardized reading and math exams this year. That will jump to 56 million in the 2007-08 school year, when states begin testing science as part of the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law, the most comprehensive education overhaul in half a century.

Apparently, lots of students fail because the tests aren't being properly graded.

Education officials in Minnesota discovered a separate issue with answer sheets that Pearson Assessments had created for a state-mandated exam. At least 500,000 people taking tests from 2000 through 2006 -- from Nevada third graders to aspiring teachers in many states -- were victims of test company mistakes, documents show.

There is a sad story of a teacher who kept on trying to pass an accreditation exam, only to give up after 4 attempts. As the article says, it is:

...a reflection on the $2.8 billion test industry, which profits from selling materials to prepare students for high-stakes exams it has a hard time getting right.

It was interesting to me that George Bush's brother is also raking in some of that money, and he admits that he is not qualified in education.

Hmmmm...

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