Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cutting through the crap in Kentucky

Did the Courier Journal on Sunday really whine and complain because some of us have had enough of their touchy-feely nonsense in our public schools?

From the Sunday CJ editorial page:
"What's likely to result is a narrower, lazier effort at accountability, with weak but expedient "program review" substituted for effective testing in some important parts of the curriculum. Certainly the emphasis that has been placed on writing portfolios will be diminished, if not lost, unless eventually salvaged by those who create a replacement for the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS). And, worst of all, the Kentucky Education Reform Act's original and longtime opponents now will be free to impose on the state the kind of inexpensive, off-the-shelf nationally normed testing they prefer — testing that gets at low-level knowledge and skills, in limited disciplines."

"It's the long-awaited opening for those who prefer the kind of accountability attached to the federal No Child Left Behind law, which, as Jefferson County teacher spokesman Brent McKim complained last year, "fails to address the needs of the whole child, and reduces the guiding purpose of education from the development of effective and contributing citizens to an unending quest for higher scores on tests that cannot assess what we value most in a democratic society — things like critical and creative thinking, problem solving, effective and persuasive communication, cooperation, perseverance, caring, respect and appreciation for diversity.""

Yes, I believe they did. Fortunately, more of us are catching on to their game.

Resolution of Kentucky's CATS testing mess should serve as encouragement to those of us who still believe we can turn things around in America.