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Answer Sheet
Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 08/06/2012

10 most inaccurate school reform axioms

Below Dov Rosenberg lists what he considers the 10 most inaccurate and damaging statements that some school reformers toss around. Rosenberg, who loves to help teachers use technology, has been serving North Carolina public school students and teachers for 11 years as a teacher and instructional technology facilitator.

Here’s Rosenberg’s list:

1. High-stakes standardized test data produce the fairest, most reliable,
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and least expensive evidence of student comprehension as well as teacher ability.

2. High-stakes standardized tests are updated routinely to eliminate confusing and/or culturally biased aspects, and questions on these tests are comprehensible by any child who can read on grade level.

3. Testing anxiety is rare, affects mostly low-achieving students, and has a minimal impact on test results.

4. High-stakes tests do not take an unreasonable amount of time for students to complete and test preparation does not take an unreasonable amount of instructional time throughout the year.

5. We would coddle and ultimately damage kids who receive special accommodations if we taught and/or tested them according to their ability to read and comprehend English. The fairest way to teach and test high-needs kids is in the same classroom, with the same curriculum, and with the same high-stakes tests (in addition to other high-stakes tests) as kids who don’t receive any special accommodations.

6. Poverty and high class size don’t matter when you have high standards.

7. The Common Core State Standards will significantly increase student achievement while saving taxpayer money.

8. Charter schools are more effective at instructing kids than nearby public schools and can do so for less money without putting financial burdens on nearby public school districts.

9. Parents have more decision-making power at charter schools than at public schools and the upcoming feature film, “Won’t Back Down” accurately depicts how parents are empowered to fix failing schools once parent trigger laws are in place.

10. Business leaders should run public schools and school systems because they are usually successful when permitted to apply a corporate model to public education.

Do you have others to add?

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