California’s Student Testing the Next Battleground

I have been so preoccupied with writing columns on the local war between charter and traditional public schools that I have unwittingly neglected another contentious public battle. The standards for testing in California’s public schools are changing, and the looming fight could be as partisan and ugly as the roll out of the Affordable Care Act.

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Standardized Tests Distort Rankings

Last month, public education in this country continued to slip into the abyss. New York City became the epicenter of school reform and the second major U.S. city—Los Angeles Times published individual teacher scores last school year—to implement a public dissemination of individual teacher value-added scores. Value-added scores are a teacher’s rating predicated on the progress each of their elementary or middle school students makes on standardized tests in one school year.

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