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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saving our schools!

A school superintendent giving a fiery speech at a Save Texas Schools rally.

We need more of this!!

Excerpt from follow up interview with John Kuhn.

Question: What has been the effect of NCLB on children in your district?

Well, they get to take plenty of bubble tests, and if they do poorly they get lots of remediation in the core areas that get tested. I guess NCLB has ensured that our teachers and administrators feel lots of pressure to perform on these tests. Like everyone else, we do diagnostic benchmarking and use released tests in the classroom to get ready. Like someone (I think it was Matt Damon, actually) recently said, we are doing less teaching of kids and more training of them, with an eye toward that test. I'm not blaming our teachers, though, for "teaching to the test," as I have often heard parents and citizens bash the schools for doing. Our leaders have created this creepy environment where standardized test scores are the great false god. If I raised my kids at home according to the prevailing philosophies, we would have a simplistic scoring device for how effectively my kids did their chores--ignoring every other, less measurable way they show me that they love me--and I would then meter out hugs accordingly. If I were to establish such a dazzlingly, nauseatingly wrong system at home, I couldn't very well then turn around and criticize my kids for adopting certain mechanical approaches to getting the results I wanted, could I?

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