FairTest Fumes and Obfuscates
There was much disgust expressed when Diane Ravitch promoted FairTest's NEA-supported report,Assessment Matters: Constructing Model State Systems to Replace Testing Overkill. In the report, FairTest managed to do some major league pimping for the New Hampshire competency-based child plug-in learning model and competency-based assessment pilot.
Here is heart of Monty Neill's response, with my comments interspersed in italics.
First, there is no doubt that corporations backed by some foundations and politicians are promoting a version of schooling that is built around computerized packaged programs that combine curriculum, curricular materials, instruction and testing. The tests are in most cases multiple-choice and short-answer with occasional write-to-a-prompt items, to be machine graded. They seriously narrow and diminish education and should be exposed and stopped.
. . . . not one of the examples in FairTest’s report rely on these kinds of computerized packages. Each one is teacher controlled and very much teacher controlled. We clearly support and praise those that allow significant student voice and control over the learning and assessment processes. New Hampshire fought for a deal that has opened doors that have been nailed shut since the start of NCLB and thus deserve serious credit. As we point out, we can learn from and improve on what they have thus far done, and that ESSA makes it easier for that to happen.. . .
The New Hampshire example that FairTest studies is Rollinsford Grade School, which DOES NOT participate Schools Matter: FairTest Fumes and Obfuscates: