At a recent meeting with parents about cutbacks in the time the kids are allowed for lunch, our superintendent explained that school principals have squeezed lunch and recess because of the pressure they feel to raise standardized test scores. Under No Child Left Behind, principals who fail to meet test-score benchmarks could eventually get fired. The superintendent wasn’t defending this system -- in fact he sympathized with us and agreed that the system was regrettable -- but was just trying to explain the context in which the principals made their decisions.
But people don’t just “get fired.” Somebody fires them. And who is in charge of hiring and firing school principals? The very person who was sympathizing with us and telling us how regrettable the situation is.
Will our superintendent and school board members commit to not firing principals and teachers for failing to meet unrealistic and harmful standardized testing goals?