Re: more on: How are private schools able to bypass testing?
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- From: Richard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 14:36:29 -0700
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You know, the public school system is beginning to sounds more like
Hitler's school for boys except it is class based now.
gerald w. bracey wrote:
I love it. George Orwell must be laughing/crying--hysterical in any case.
Whil NCLB forces the same thing on all schools the argument for privates is
that they offer alternatives. Well, golly, when I worked in a school
district, not all parents had the same philosophy. Nor did all teachers and
all principals (those of us in the central office weren't permitted
philosophies). Different schools had different approaches and
within-district-choice attempted to match kids to schools. What an idea.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 3:39 PM
Subject: [arn-l] more on: How are private schools able to bypass testing?
Well, I am sure some of you have seen this already, but in case you
here is the convoluted reasoning behind why private schools shouldn't be
to the same testing standards as public schools, according to none other
the Manhattan Institute.
Can you believe the following argument that appeared in the Tallahassee
"Imposing this conformity on private schools by requiring that they
administer the FCAT would prevent those schools from offering meaningful
alternatives to the type of education offered in state schools. Not all
children learn in the same way and not all families share the same
of education. Allowing a diversity of approaches is precisely one of the
important benefits of having alternatives to public schools available
In other words, they are admitting they would have to teach to the test,
which provides an inferior way of educating kids since not all kids learn
same way. What kind of hypocrisy is going on here? The full article is
below. Hope this is posted on EVERY anti-testing website to expose these
double-standard phonies for what they are.
Posted on Mon, Mar. 31, 2003
Forcing the FCAT on voucher schools is a bad idea
By Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters
SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT
More than 24,000 students in Florida attend private schools with vouchers
from government programs. Some legislators and other voucher opponents
voiced concerns that these students are using public money at private
that are not "accountable" for their performance. They argue that these
schools should be forced to administer the state's standardized test, the
FCAT. Such a policy, however, would be as harmful as it is unnecessary.
The truth is that while many public schools complain about being judged by
standardized test, almost all private schools jump at the chance.
to a survey conducted by Florida Children First, the vast majority of
students attending a private school with a voucher from the state's
Tax Credit Program already take a commercially designed standardized test,
such as the Stanford-9.
Of the 426 private schools in the survey, 95 percent administer such a
even though the state does not require them to do so. These highly
tests are also given in many public schools throughout the nation. In
along with the FCAT, every public school in Florida also administers the
Private schools use their own dollars to administer standardized tests so
that they can show parents that they offer a quality education. Unlike
schools, which are assigned students based upon geography, private schools
must compete for students in the marketplace. If parents are not convinced
that their private school is providing an adequate education, they will
enroll their children in another school. Private schools voluntarily
administer standardized tests similar to the FCAT to assure parents that
education they offer is of high quality.
Though most private schools already administer standardized tests,
that they give the FCAT would be a mistake. The reason is not that the
is a bad test - our own research has shown that the FCAT accurately
student proficiency - but that forcing private schools to give the FCAT
force them to change their focus and curriculum in ways that could hinder
their ability to provide distinct alternatives to public schools.
Tests are designed to measure how well students do given certain curricula
and teaching philosophies. The FCAT is based on the curriculum and
educational philosophy contained in the Sunshine State Standards. If
schools had to take the FCAT, then they would have to adopt the same
curriculum and philosophy used by state schools that are trying to meet
Sunshine State Standards.
Imposing this conformity on private schools by requiring that they
the FCAT would prevent those schools from offering meaningful alternatives
the type of education offered in state schools. Not all children learn in
same way and not all families share the same philosophy of education.
Allowing a diversity of approaches is precisely one of the most important
benefits of having alternatives to public schools available through
Though private schools do not follow the state standards, we need not be
concerned that private schools are failing to adhere to adequate
The market forces them to have meaningful standards in order to entice
parents to choose their school. Furthermore, since almost all private
already administer nationally respected standardized tests, we can judge
value of a private school's standards by how well they perform on these
We should demand that private schools receiving vouchers offer at least as
good an education as the public schools students are leaving. We should
demand that the private schools are indistinguishable from public schools.
Forcing private schools that accept vouchers to administer the FCAT would
a needless and counterproductive policy. Unlike public schools, which are
largely immune from losing their students, private schools must worry
day about how to best educate their customers. The marketplace is more
powerful enough to hold private schools accountable, as seen by their
eagerness to voluntarily administer standardized tests.
Legislatures would do better to concentrate on ensuring progress at public
schools that object to being held accountable for the progress of students
who have no choice but to attend their school, rather than on the private
schools that have to earn their students everyday.
Jay P. Greene is a senior fellow and Marcus A. Winters is a research
associate at the Manhattan Institute's Education Research Office in Davie,
Fla. Web site: <A
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