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Friday, June 5, 2015

Zip codes and demographics tell you the same thing as test scores

I couldn't have put it any better than Jeffrey Solochek of the Tampa Times when he wrote:  A closer look at its list of schools gives some credence to the critics who argue that test scores reveal about the same information as ZIP codes and demographics.

This is not a new thing either as people have been saying it for years. We cannot test or micromanage schools to success and instead we have to put in things that mitigate zip codes and demographics or what it really is, poverty.

We could take the hundreds of millions of dollars we spend on testing, that has sucked the joy of learning and teaching out of school for so many students and teachers alike and instead reinvest it into the high need schools. 

Those schools need a longer school day and a longer school year and enough electives so that school does not become drudgery. They need smaller classes and more individualized attention and they need, guidance counselors, social workers and mental health professionals because why a kid acts up or does poorly in school often has nothing to do with school. Then they need a broad curriculum that includes the teaching of trades and skills because not every kid is going to college.

The bottom line is we can continue to ignore poverty or treat it like an excuse and attempting to test kids out of it or we can do something. I am all for doing something.

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