Remember those funny television commercials where two sports celebrities faux-argued about the benefits of Miller Lite beer? One would shout and pound the table to make the point that Miller Lite “Tastes Great,” and the other would (supposedly) disagree by responding with equal fervor that it was “Less Filling.”
I’m suggesting an Education Reform version after a generation of high-stakes testing pressure brought on by No Child Left Behind and continued in the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top” program.
If I were producing a series of ads, I would cast Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Kaya Henderson, John King, Kati Haycock, Pearson Education President John Fallon, Eva Moskowitz, Campbell Brown and a few other prominent supporters of test-based reform.
One would pound the table and proclaim that our students “Test Great!”
Another would respond with equal fervor that our students are “Less Knowing!”
But yesterday I scrapped my plans for the campaign, because it turns out that, after years of test-based reform, our kids do NOT “Test Great,” although apparently they are “Less Knowing.”
Here’s what Jennifer Kerr reported for the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not a promising picture for the nation’s high school seniors – they are slipping in math, not making strides in reading and only about one-third are prepared for the academic challenges of entry-level college courses.