Thursday, May 6, 2010

Diane Ravitch on Problems with Tying Teacher Evaluations to Test Scores Under NCLB 2.0

Here’s a video of interest where Diane Ravitch talks about two important things that will happen as a result of the political movement to tie teacher performance to test scores. First of all, it obvious that teachers will teach to the test. What choice will they have? Teachers will immediately focus even more on testing than they did under George Bush’s NCLB 1.0. If your livelihood depends on the test, then forget those areas that aren’t tested. Secondly, Ravitch makes another good point, “Who would want to be a teacher under the conditions created by Secretary Duncan’s education policy?” The conditions created by high stakes testing is already toxic under NCLB 1.0. Under Secretary Duncan’s NCLB 2.0 testing gets even more emphasis. There is absolutely nothing rewarding about having a class of kids proficient on a test that is irrelevant and meaningless, which happens to describe most existing state tests. Teaching becomes meaningless and unrewarding. It’s all too sad!
What is really sad is that Secretary Duncan has stated that he has not encountered any public opposition to his education policy. Either he “don’t get out much” as they say, or he has a very narrow definition of the word “public” that only includes his government subordinates or the friends he plays basketball with. Perhaps he won’t realize opposition until somebody starts picketing his speaking engagements. Update: Secretary made the statement that he encounters no public opposition to the New York Times in this article:


  1. Wow - no opposition? Who did he say that to? Maybe he was just trying to annoy us.

  2. Secretary made the statement in the New York Times article here.
    When asked about the fact that the Department of Education now ranks lower than the IRS, he stated he encounters no public opposition.