Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A does not necessarily equal B: Standardized test scores

I got this peripherally from the story about the young man being beaten to death in Chicago. According to locals, the reason for the increase in gang violence in that area was caused by the closing of a high school (it was turned into a military school) and sending those kids to this other school. The closing were done by then CEO of Chicago public schools, now Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan under what was termed as the Renaissance Program that was designed to close under-performing schools and send those kids places where presumably they would get higher standardized test scores.

The problem with this meme is that better standardized test scores do not necessarily mean better learning. All it means is that those schools have better ways of teaching those students how to take tests, not the knowledge they would need to be able to pass the tests.

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