Response to llary52

llary52 left a comment on David Warlick’s 2 Cents Worth blog about the flexibility NCLB gives states in the way they assess students.

NCLB allows all kinds of assessment – just not the assessments that are the most valuable for teachers and students to make informed decisions about teaching and learning. NCLB also doesn’t do a good job of paying all the costs of assessment, or developing assessments that might be a better fit for your state or locale or assessments that are prescriptive – designed onsite at individual schools to meet the needs of those specific students and teachers. If the state gave local districts and schools that autonomy it would become a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare to keep track of – with even higher costs that would not be covered by NCLB monies.

In other words to state that NCLB gives states that flexibility is flat-out disingenuous. Harvard allows flexibility to go to any high school so I can receive the education to have a good chance to gain admission to Harvard – does it pay my costs to go to any private high school I want to attend? No – so Harvard doesn’t really give me that flexibility unless I am able to absorb those costs – just like NCLB. How many states in today’s economy can absorb all those costs? Wyoming … maybe a few more.

Are states complaining about not getting the funds from NCLB to cover those costs – yes – raise your hand if you think they want to add writing and other subject area assessments and pay for them too.

Learning and assessment are messy – expensive!

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One Response to Response to llary52

  1. Wesley Fryer says:

    Brian– I found this thread of discussion interesting, and I’m wondering who “llary52″ actually is? Someone posting with that same userid has been having a discussion with me on one of the more fervent posts I’ve made lately on NCLB and our Secretary of Education. I think the points you raise here are valid and important. NCLB may theoretically provide flexibility, but the response of school districts and states has been anything but flexible. I guess that response is an “out” that those in political power can use to say “we aren’t making them do this.” But it seems the policies are having a consistent effect to discourage not only messy assessment, but also constructivist teaching in general. I think those who have promulgated these policies should take responsibility for the actual effects, and not dodge around the realities by simply saying “states didn’t have to do that.”

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