Recently, during a Washington Post panel discussion, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr called for a three-year moratorium on standardized testing used to evaluate teachers. Click here to read more about the ban proposal.I’m puzzled why this is news.
Starr leads a public school district that does not use student test scores to
evaluate teachers. MCPS already has a moratorium in place, and the moratorium
or practice—or whatever word one wants to use to describe what MCPS does—was in place before Starr came to Montgomery County. And, by the way, I have no
problems with the ban.
With the ban in place, MCPS takes itself out of the running for any of the federal Race to the Top money. But then one could make the argument that MCPS is such a well-funded school district anyway—why bother getting bogged down in those politics? And frankly, no matter how many times Starr publicly says using test scores to evaluate teachers is bad science, he is not really going to change federal policies.
Does Starr really believe President Obama is listening? Click here to read more about Race to the Top.
But, if Starr wants to make real news, why not just propose a permanent and complete ban on standardized testing of individual students in MCPS? (Important: individual here means all or every student.) That’s right—a complete ban. Why stop at three years? With a complete ban in place test results can never be used to evaluate teachers.
And so, I’m all in for the complete ban in exchange for the following:
Thursday, January 31, 2013
by Joseph Hawkins
Posted by Janis Sartucci at 5:00 AM