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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 10, 2015, 07:15 AM

4. Like they don't do that now?

The changes in this bill strengthen state control over accountability systems...standards and testing. Of course, states already HAVE choices about what standards and tests they adopt; this just removes the federal ability to tie funding to one set of standards and tests, and returns accountability to the state level. That leaves each state to mobilize, contacting state officials about what direction a state will take.

It's true that my state is more likely to go in a positive direction than, say, Texas. Of course, that's democracy; citizens elect the people who are making up history. That's what that majority wants, or what they THINK they want. It's kind of a vicious cycle. It happens at the local level as well, with school boards making policies that may or may not be best practices for learning, for intellectual development, or for social justice. I'd prefer to see school boards be made up of educators, and state-level policy makers be the same. But that's me. My union is encouraging retired teachers to do just that: run for school boards. I hope we begin to make some progress. Especially in states like those you reference.

In my state, my union has developed and is promoting what they call "A New Path for Oregon: System of Assessment to Empower Meaningful Student Learning." It's a start. It's still tied to meeting high-stakes mandates, though. If this bill passes, I think we'd be able to move away from those high-stakes, and return testing to one part, and a lesser part, of informing instruction.

It's not a perfect bill, of course. It STRENGTHENS Charter School programs...I'd like to see charter schools go away completely, so I'm not really excited about this part. (Title V.)

It's interesting that I see the opportunity to undo the damage that federal mandates have caused, and you see the opportunity for damage at the state level...damage that is already occurring anyway. I think it's easier to mobilize and pressure at the state level than it is at the federal. A productive recourse would be for parents and other community members to get behind teachers', and their unions', efforts.

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LWolf Apr 2015 OP
mopinko Apr 2015 #1
LWolf Apr 2015 #2
mopinko Apr 2015 #3
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LWolf Apr 2015 #4
mopinko Apr 2015 #5
LWolf Apr 2015 #7
Igel Apr 2015 #6
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