education I would like to express my views pertaining to the federal government’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate and the role of psychometrics and standardized testing in determining which districts are succeeding and…
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llars of accountability for results; an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research; expanded parental options; and expanded local control and flexibility. While all of this sounds positive, it is the accountability for results that most disturbs given the fact that test results equal federal funds, not a positive carrot in my opinion for the achievement of educational excellence.
The statement by President Bush (2001) is at the heart of what I see as a very serious flaw in the mandate pertaining to its emphasis on testing which he calls. ...“the essence of excellence [and the means of judging that] in education....” (para 7).The U.S. Department of Education USDE insists No Child Left Behind puts a special emphasis on implementing educational programs and practices that have been clearly demonstrated to be effective through rigorous scientific research.
While all of this sounds promising, other aspects of a test-oriented program by which the fate of districts rise or fall is a frightening one considering what is at stake—again, federal funding. While reps Becky Fleischauer from the National Education Association (NEA) (2002) claims that “we will begin to see testing and accountability and teacher quality” (para. 2), other experts have a very different take that does not instill the same confidence, especially when it comes to testing.
Education expert James Pophan (2010) found the following: “An astonishing amount of cheating is taking place on the tests that measure progress”(para. 1), rendering psychometric guidelines touted as produced through “rigorous scientific research” by psychometric experts virtually worthless. Shockingly various instances of educator cheating range from teachers allowing students more than the allotted time, to the administration of pre-tests with actual final test questions. I find this quite disturbing given these tests are supposed to accurately predict student and district achievement.
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