In One Eye

Thursday, May 05, 2005
Ms. Sternberg has received her answer.
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings faxed her final answer to the state Department of Education Wednesday denying the commissioner's request for a waiver on adding three additional grades to the state's testing schedule beginning next year.

She also rejected the state's quest for more money to pay for the additional Connecticut Mastery Tests, asserting that Connecticut's test goes beyond the requirements of the federal law. The federal No Child Left Behind Act, she said, does not require states to test writing, which is expensive to score because it cannot be done by computer.
God, is this ever transparent. Two things immediately come to mind.

First, the fact that the feds are unwilling to provide funds for testing what they consider to be beyond the scope of the law shows just how far the elimination of state input of assessment has gone. That is, the feds are willing to pay for just one type of test and give the states no wiggle room if, in fact, they wish to (to use the education president's word) measure skills that they deem important.

Second, Mrs. Spellings' response shows just how far back into the 19th century these idiots feel education should be. By insisting that the tests be scored by computer, Mrs. Spellings reveals that the tests will measure only rote knowledge. It's clear that by insisting that tests be scored in this way, the Bushies really are looking for schools to create automatons.

It's striking that while all this is going on, Utah has decided that it's had enough, pulling out of the whole NCLB fiasco entirely. Good for Utah's evident ability to see the program for what it is: an evisceration of states' rights.

It seems clear that, with Mrs. Spellings' gratuitous postscript denying the state the money it deserves for complying with this heinous testing program, the lawsuit promoted by Attorney General Blumenthal will proceed.

To which I say, "Bring 'em on."