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Re: NEA Today

At 08:44 PM 3/12/2002 -0800, Peter Farruggio wrote:


Why the favorable article on TAAS?


I have no way of knowing. It would be great if a few Texas teachers wrote
in <neatoday@nea.org> to clarify the reality for NEA.

At 11:56 PM 3/11/02, George Sheridan wrote:

Seven full pages of the March 2002 NEA Today, including ten separate
articles or sidebars, address the new ESEA. Nearly half of this material
reports or comments on the testing and accountability provisions of the law.

Three of the best resources in this issue are:
* a Q & A with James Popham on "The Tests We Need and Why We Need
Them," in which Popham summarizes his proposal for picking "a small
number of absolutely essential standards to assess--maybe five or six in
each subject." As he points out, "The federal law says the tests have to
be aligned with the state standards, but it doesn't say they have to
cover everything."
* the Nine Requirements for Useful State Tests (from the Commission
on Instructionally Supportive Assessment)
* a Testing Timeline, graphically depicting what will happen between
now and June, 2014, under the ESEA.
On the other hand--despite a few sentences questioning the use of test
scores to judge schools, the article on testing in Texas gives a
generally positive review of TAAS and of federally-mandated testing.

What impression of federal-state testing will readers take away from this
issue of NEA Today? That might depend on the opinions they had formed
before they began reading.

George Sheridan
Northside School
Cool, California 95614