THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
RULES OF NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ARE CHALLENGED

Time to get rid of high-stakes standardized tests

August 24, 2011

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THE GLOBE continues to conflate standardized tests and quality education (“Don’t cut standards for No Child Left Behind,’’ Editorial, Aug. 22). Researchers such as Diane Ravitch and Richard Rothstein have demonstrated that nine years of No Child Left Behind, with its narrowing of education to teach to the test, have resulted in a slowing of the rate of improvement on the nation’s report card compared with the previous decade.

They understand that poverty is the greatest predictor of poor school performance. Intense pressure to perform on high-stakes tests, closing schools, and denigrating teachers don’t change that unfortunate reality. While a growing number of children in America - now an estimated 25 percent - live in poverty, high-performing countries such as Finland have about a 3 percent child-poverty rate and no standardized testing.

Establishing such unrealistic goals as 100 percent proficiency is a set-up to label our schools as failures when a great many are performing at a high level.

It’s time to overhaul NCLB and get rid of high-stakes uses of standardized tests.

Marilyn J. Segal
Executive director
Citizens for Public Schools
Boston