From Dr. Alis Headlam of Rutland, director Tutoring That Makes Sense:
Last week a news story appeared in the Rutland Herald and Times Argus to which everyone interested in the education of children should give attention. Current reports indicate that, according to the federal No Child Left Behind law, up to 70 percent of Vermont schools, or 216 out of about 300, are considered failing.
“The state believes those numbers are artificial, because they are based on standardized tests only, and students and schools never had time to catch up before the bar (expectations of increased standards) was raised again in accordance with NCLB,” the reporter wrote. If that were the only way we looked at schools, we would be in dire straits as a state. Fortunately, we are smart enough to know that these figures do not represent reality.
Since 2001 when No Child Left Behind was signed into law, it was obvious to many educators that this bill would not hold water over time and that eventually 100 percent of schools in the nation would be deemed to be failing. Defining success based on standardized tests is not a good idea and never has been. Parents, students and teachers know that what happens on a paper-and-pencil test on any given day cannot replicate the hard work that is done on a daily basis. At best it can give a snapshot of learning. At worst is misinterprets learning.