Sunday, October 25, 2015

Obama Calls For Less Standardized Testing In Public Schools

The United States spends more on public education than any other country in the world.  The problem is that a lot of this money never makes it to the classroom.   Instead, money is wasted on local, state and federal education bureaucracy.   Since students in public schools in our country do not do as well on standardized tests as kids in other industrialized countries, Socialist President Pinocchio Obama is now calling for less testing to no more than 2% of classroom time a year.  

As a former teacher, I am not sure what this really equates to; but what I do know is that years ago, when I was a Reading Coordinator in an inner city Los Angeles junior high school,  when we used Phonics to teach reading, which had gone out of style and also implemented Pre and Post Testing to see where the kids started each year and where they ended, we did see remarkable gains in reading scores.   Teachers were not teaching to the test, since these tests just tested reading skills; but I feel certain that the phonetic system we used made a difference. 

Of course, there were a few teachers where the kids went backwards because they were not adhering to the system and they were bad teachers; but otherwise our school reading scores went up.  Even then, as a quasi administrator, the Teacher's Union would not allow me to share individual teacher scores with the Administration.   I was only allowed to share cumulative school wide scores.   So today, 35 years later, since Teacher Unions control the Socialist Party, they have convinced their stooges in office, including President Obama, that they don't want to be measured by test scores related to student achievement.  It makes them look bad. 

As a side note, when we achieved gains in our reading scores, I was cautioned by the Vice Principal of the school that we needed to be careful because if we achieved the 50th percentile or higher, we would lose our federal Title I monies, to which I said, at 28 years old, that if we did get to the 50th percentile, it would mean that we taught the kids to read.   This particular Vice Principal reminded me that a lot of jobs were dependent on this money and that I needed to see the big picture.  I left teaching and education, even though I have Master Degree in Education Administration, that year in 1979, out of disgust and disillusionment.

Look, if too much testing is happening, which is counter productive, it should be stopped.   But how else can We The People determine if all the money we spend on public schools is being spent effectively.   Since it is nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher, or to reward the really good ones with Merit Pay, test scores don't matter very much anyway.   However, test scores get attention.  Since American kids do not do as well on standardized tests as kids in other countries, the last thing the Teacher Unions want is bad publicity as they continue to push for even more compensation and benefits, while they are achieving poor student achievement results.  That is the real story behind Obama's push to limit Standardized Testing. 

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