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A concerned member of the human race

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bad Science

mad scientist

Let me start by saying that in this post I will be frequently referring to B.S., which, despite any propensities to misinterpret, stands for Bad Science, rather than Bachelor of Science. 

That being said...  Many "reformers" seek to overhaul the educational system based on what they take to be science.  Putting false faith in statistical measures of accountability, they experiment on our children.  

Some "reformers" want all students to receive a basic sound education and become academically proficient.  OK.  That's what teachers want.  That's what I want.

But when the Common Core sets standards artificially high with eyes blind to the real needs of some students, I say B.S. 

When states try to test their way to higher standards by designing questions and cut scores clearly to fail the vast majority of students, I say B.S.  

When companies profit at the expense of young people's pride by creating tests engineered to academically cripple children, I say B.S. 

When teachers are evaluated based largely upon the results of a screwy test-based VAM formulas, I say B.S. again.

When court cases attack teacher tenure without realizing why even the most "highly effective" teachers would defend it, I say B.S.

When public schools are closed and replaced by privatized, profit-making academies or academies that pay their head honcho $500,000, I say B.S.

When Success Academy is applauded for excellent test scores while a blind eye is turned (even by major media outlets) toward its selective acceptance policies and very high attrition rates for those who fail, I say total B.S.

When educational reform leads to pressure to make test prep a priority, I sat total B.S. again.

When elected politicians and their political appointments turn deaf and largely inflexible ears to the cries of students, parents and teachers, I really want to say something stronger than B.S., but let me just say B.S. to the nth degree or, in other words:  Really, Really, Really Bad Science!

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