Sure, why bother testing students so we can find out if they’re learning? Let’s just trust the teachers that they’re doing their job.
The American Federation of Teachers announced today it is expanding on their campaign “against excessive testing” called “Learning Is More Than a Test Score.” The campaign seeks to stop federal programs, especially No Child Left Behind, that test students in order to chart their progress and determine effectiveness of teachers. Unions have generally fought against using anything other than seniority as a benchmark of teacher skill. Thus, the irony: a major teachers union has come out foursquare against finding out whether American kids are indeed learning.
In a press release emailed to reporters (it is not currently online), AFT President Randi Weingarten said the union’s drive involves “de-emphasizing testing and ensuring instead that instruction includes the arts and physical education” among other benchmarks.
We’re sure parents will be thrilled.
While testing is not without legitimate criticism – there have been numerous cases of cheating, for example – the “obsession” with it that Weingarten describes has happened because parents and lawmakers want to find out whether student are actually learning and what works and what doesn’t. It is becoming increasingly clear that the union-dominated public school model doesn’t work so well, which explains the growing exodus to charter schools.
Yeah, why bother with standards? Guess all those lousy test scores are giving these union goons a bad rep.
Update: Speaking of taking tests…
It was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.
For 15 years, teachers in three Southern states paid Clarence Mumford Sr. — himself a longtime educator — to send someone else to take the tests in their place, authorities said. Each time, Mumford received a fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam. In return, his customers got a passing grade and began their careers as cheaters, according to federal prosecutors in Memphis.