of the signing of the Civil Rights Act former president George W. Bush said:
"I fear the soft bigotry of low expectations is returning, and for the sake of America's children, that is something we cannot allow."
Then Bush said this:
"Whatever difficulties we face, they will not be erased by weakening accountability."
There you have it, folks. The irony of ironies. George W. Bush says the key to student success is----wait for it-------TESTING. That's what accountability in the mind of George W. Bush means. While the current standards movement has its origins in 1983's A Nation at Risk, George W. Bush single-handedly brought us the current testing mania via No Child Left Behind, which sadly and ironically is better than its replacement, Race to the Top.
In his speech, Bush lauded "accountability" as the way to guarantee poor and minority children receive an equal education to those of affluent white children. Really?
- Not a word about crumbling schools buildings.
- Not a word about the low status of teachers, which arguably George W. Bush is most responsible for in recent years.
- Not a word about inequality in funding education, which in most places is based on property taxes.
- Not a word about equal access to technology and "smart" schools.
- Not a word about the widening poverty gap that increasingly works to create a "pseudo-Victorian" society in 21st Century America.
- Not a word about the inherent bigotry of standardized testing, which I began researching as a high school student in the mid-1970s.
- Not a word about the huge expenditures for administering the tests.
- Diane Ravitch blog. Read her books, too.
- Susan O'Hanian: She collects, collates, and comments on education news.
- Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post: She often posts teacher commentary on ed policy, too.
*Update: After this post went live, Diane Ravitch addressed the problems w/ assessing teachers based on standardized test scores in a post titled "Breaking News: American Statistical Association Issues Caution on Use of VAM."