Saturday, May 21, 2011

In Orwellian edu-speak, top-down is bottom-up

President Obama this morning:
We need to reward the reforms that are driven not by Washington, but by principals and teachers and parents. That’s how we’ll make progress in education–not from the top down, but from the bottom up.

. . .

The idea is simple: if states show that they’re serious about reform, we’ll show them the money.

. . .

Our challenge now is to allow all fifty states to benefit from the success of Race to the Top. We need to promote reform that gets results while encouraging communities to figure out what’s best for their kids. That why it’s so important that Congress replace No Child Left Behind this year–so schools have that flexibility. Reform just can’t wait.
Could there be a more incoherent Presidential statement? We want to encourage communities to figure out what’s best for their kids, and if they agree with me that raising standardized test scores at any cost should be the sole goal of education, then I’ll show them the money! See, it’s bottom-up!

When it comes to No Child Left Behind, please: Don’t mend it. End it.

My thoughts on real “bottom-up” educational policy are here.


KD said...

Speaking of Barack Obama and test scores, students at SE junior high get a certificate with a gold seal, "signed" by Obama, and Arne Duncan, as well as the principal, if they score above 85% on the standardized tests in reading and math.

I don't think we need to give out certificates for standardized test scores, just my opinion.

KD said...

Oops, I think I misworded my last post....I meant to students who scored at the 85th percentile or above...rather than students who had a score of 85% or above.

Chris said...

KD -- Ugh. Please tell me it doesn't say "Stellar Job!"