<A HREF="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/134765801_monlets19.html";-) ;-} ;-] :-[ :-/ :-o :-O
Rod Paige, the secretary of Education, points to his achievements as
superintendent of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) as evidence
that relentless testing as required by the No Child Left Behind Act will
improve the education of all children ("<A HREF="http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-
s the key to
revitalizing our schools</A>," guest commentary, May 13).
What Paige doesn't tell you is how he raised test scores in Houston. HISD
enrolls 212,000 students, about 34 percent of the students in Harris County.
According to the Intercultural Development Research Association, a research
center in San Antonio, 52 percent of African-American teens in Harris County
who started high school in 1997 were no longer in school in 2000-01, what
would have been their senior year, and Paige's last year. Sixty percent of
the Hispanic teens were also gone, as were 29 percent of the white teens.
Paige tells us that "accountability works," but how was he accountable to the
thousands of students who dropped out from his schools? Paige brags about how
HISD raised test scores. It's easy to raise test scores if you can get your
low-scoring students to drop out.
We do need accountability in schools, but No Child Left Behind will turn
schools into test-preparation factories. More kids will drop out, and more
wealthy parents will put their children into private schools, where being
educated is not synonymous with test scores.
- David Marshak, associate professor, School of Education, Seattle University