Students Who Learn

These papers deal with student performance in the schools based upon objective measures – tests. Many folks who know little about testing manage to distort and discourage the responsible use of testing in the schools.  The value of their annual use is beyond question the best starting point to improve instruction in our schools, public and private.  Other issues related to student performance are also included.  The following list of stories offers a preview of those on the menu, and select letters on Liberal  Here is your homework!

Mind the education gap This science editor at the Wall Street Journal is a journalist by trade and published an article so blatantly biases it is embarrassing to acknowledge her many off-the-wall statements – all written without a smell of evidence to support her assertions.  The only gap displayed is the one between this science editor’s ears.
High and low SAT scores:  The difference The statewide analysis of over 33,000 students identifies the important factors that help or hinder male and female students achieve high or low test scores on the SAT.  The major contributors are not very surprising.
Test scores:  The best beginning This is an introductory presentation of the use of testing as a beginning point in a comprehensive – multi-year project using tests to improve instruction and curriculum in one combination elementary-middle school.
Improving instruction through testing This is a comprehensive project which demonstrates how to use testing to improve instruction and curriculum – and serve to identify a school’s strengths and weaknesses year after year.
Restoring education This paper uses the first year’s findings to structure the project’s teacher preparation for the following year.
Race to the top Obama’s race to the top – Bushes no child left behind – and the original Brown vs. Board of Education have turned the schools into pawns of the federal political classes.  Seed money from Washington – like the Pied Piper – has led the nations schools down a political blind alley in an attempt to get all students to learn equally.
Student performance and racial quotas This liberal letter writer claims that students of color get less than their fair share of access to the in-school factors that matter for achievement.  Most of the time black students actually choose those classes that are less challenging.
Obama on tests We need less standardized testing in schools – says our president who has no credibility in testing – and takes his cues directly from his masters, the teachers’ unions who oppose all forms of testing.  His solution is to “find a test that everybody agrees makes sense”.
Testing punishes teachers How dare Rick Scott and Michelle Rhee decide teachers should be judged based upon student test scores.  These two should wake up.  Some of these kids live in hell; they spend their after-school hours avoiding drug dealer and crime – not on homework.  They have parents who work endlessly at low-paying jobs just to survive.  Some are homeless or hungry:  Some have raging attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; without medication because their parents can’t afford it.
US Schools #15 The NEA is keenly focused on how to help every student succeed and recently formed an independent commission of expert teachers to examine professional practices that make a difference in learning.  The lesson from PISA is clear:  Respect teachers and treat them like professionals.  The US should focus on what leading countries are doing to learn from their example.
Black students denied quality education Under the title Busing students fails to improve education – a Louisville civil rights attorney states that “Today nothing has changes.  The best schools still have the lowest percentages of African-American students. The best schools still have the best teachers and equipment.  And African-American students are still being denied a quality education”.

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