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Krugman Overlooks W’s Saddest Legacy: Standardized Testing

December 28, 2015

Paul Krugman’s column in today’s NYTimes, Doubling Down on W“, describes how the Republican candidates for POTUS are not only embracing President George W. Bush’s tax cut strategy, they are advocating even deeper cuts to the wealthy. In writing about the Republican embrace of Mr. Bush’s flawed tax policies, Mr. Krugman laments the fact that his ideology is still advocated by his party despite evidence that it does no good whatsoever.

But, as I noted in a comment I left, there is another Bush era ideology that Republicans and Democrats have embraced, an ideology that, like tax cuts, has no supporting evidence:

One area where W’s ideology HAS taken hold is in public education… and it’s been as destructive as his ideology on tax cuts. The media has made much to do over the “bi-partisan agreement” in the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act” without underscoring the fact that it sustains the emphasis on standardized testing as the basis for accountability. Worse, ESSA’s shifting the test development to states will make it possible for another W to emerge from a state house claiming to have improved schools while actually jiggering test scores to create the illusion of improvement. And worst of all, we now have a generation of students and parents and a cadre of teachers who never experienced schooling before the advent of test driven curriculum. These children, parents, and teachers think school is about getting ever higher test scores when those of us who taught in the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s recall a different, broader, and higher purpose.


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