Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing - The Washington Post

Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing - The Washington Post:

Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing






Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg says that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are “making a grave mistake” by pledging to reduce the amount of standardized tests mandated in U.S. schools.
In an essay first published Tuesday by Bloomberg View, which he owns, the former mayor has harsh words for the president and his education secretary, accusing them of “caving to pressure from union leaders and a vocal subset of parents.” He said their actions could do “real harm to our poorest students and America’s future.”
Bloomberg wrote that “students will face tests throughout their life. They must learn to cope with the emotional stress that comes with the experience, particularly because many companies (including mine) use tests in hiring. I understand: Test-taking is no one’s idea of fun, but it is part of life and shielding students from it does them a great disservice.”
He suggested that cutting back on testing will reduce pressure on schools to educate all children and will ultimately harm the country.
“In the ultracompetitive global economy, the U.S. is facing a terrible mismatch between high-skill jobs and our labor pool,” Bloomberg wrote. “This problem will grow worse over time unless we expect more of ourselves and our students — and hold everyone, including teachers and school leaders, accountable for success. Caving to pressure from union leaders and a vocal subset of parents who want to end testing and accountability will make it harder to achieve that success.”
During Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor, the state legislature transferred responsibility for the nation’s largest school system to the mayor instead of a school board. He aggressively pushed through policy changes, including a teacher evaluation system based on student test scores and a rapid expansion of public charter schools. His schools chancellor, Joel Klein, emphasized the use of test score data to drive decision making.
Bloomberg, the three-term mayor who left office in 2013, was responding in Bloomberg: Obama and Duncan are making a wrong turn over testing - The Washington Post:

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