Re: A message from Linda McNeil
- Subject: Re: A message from Linda McNeil
- From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
- Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 08:42:05 EST
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
In a message dated 1/26/01 1:16:37 PM, mkluznik@HOTMAIL.COM writes:
<< It's too bad that this kind of information didn't come
out in the mindless debates we were subjected to and the shallow reporting
done by the media during the campaign. >>
January 27, 2001
It did come out during the campaign, Mike.
Linda McNeill and Walt Haney were the main professorial critics of Bush who
appeared (or were quoted) on the famous "60 minutes" piece about the TAAS
debacle. Rod Paige (with the help of the Bush people) orchestrated the "60
Minutes" response, which came from African American teachers and principals.
It's worth a look back. The Texas "miracle" was debunked by Linda, Walt, just
about everyone worth anything in terms of credibility in Texas, MALDEF (at an
enormous cost for their lawsuit), and thousands of Texas teachers and parents.
Trouble was, the Gore people were also preaching "standards and
accountability" -- they just didn't like the fact that Bush had a "Texas
miracle" and they couldn't use the "Chicago miracle" they been prepping for
the job in two State of the Union messages (see Clinton, 1998 and 1999)
because the numbers got too messy by the time Gore - Liebermann 2000 got into
high gear. So there was no real "opposition" to "standards and
accountability" -- just "Me, too, but..."
Linda's McNeill's book "Contradictions of School Reform" be on everyone's
"Contradictions of School Reform" (a close examination of the destruction of
teaching and learning -- especially for poor kids -- in Texas), can sit
alongside Alfie Kohn, Susan Ohanian, Angela Valenzuela, Peter Sacks, Deb
Meier, Jerry Bracey and the whole Fair Test book list (going all the way back
to Ralph Nader's 1980 report "The Reign of ETS"). Most of these books, by the
way, are available on line. And for historical background, there is always
"The Manufactured Crisis", which deals with how the talking points we're
attacked with go all the way back to "A Nation at Risk."
Our side's actually got most of the ammunition to win these debates, Mike.
The July 2000 NCS (now NCS Pearson) Minnesota test scoring debacle is just
one of a dozen hard-core examples from the past 18 months. Most are ignored
when the debate returns (as it did last week) to PBS, and the Rod Paiges of
the world then just repeat the latest iteration of the "standards and
accountability" mantra while the PBS staff nods smilingly and keeps all good
thinking Americans calms about this stuff.
Our colleagues in the media are PRO-TEST. They are also very inclined to
listen to the libels of those who don't like those of us who protest the
tests. I can give you lots of details on this part of the Testocracy's work,
but you can read it all here in the "ideology" thread. After "60 Minutes",
the Texas critics of the Bush TAAS miracle faced similar stuff from what's
been spewing out of New York against me. As many people have noted, the
Testocracy is bipartisan, very well-funded, and ruthlessly committed to its
version of reality -- which is are all reasons why the debate didn't take
place in October. Gore and Bush agreed on high-stakes testing. The Democratic
charges against TAAS were a bit hypocritical in the context, as both Bush and
many citizens pointed out.
5132 W. Berteau
Chicago, IL 60641
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