More Rigorous Tests Plus Careful Reading Of Data

Jim Edgar and Bill Daley, political heavyweights and co-chairs of the new Advance Illinois education initiative, say that they want policymakers to focus on teacher quality, school leadership, and more rigorous tests:

"Illinois state tests are among the easiest in the U.S," the pair write in today's Tribune (Forcing public schools in Illinois to measure up). "Tragically,

students who get good grades here are shocked to learn they are not

prepared for college or work."

Read data carefully, however, says Catalyst's award-winning John Myers.

Myers notes that the Renaissance Fund delayed releasing an evaluation of an independent report on Ren10 schools for over a year and then took a "controversial" approach bring in test data that may or may not be comparable (No silver bullet in school reform).

The Wire's David Simon gets the last word:


show me anything that depicts institutional progress in America –

school test scores, crime stats, arrest stats – anything that a

politician can run on [or] anything that somebody can get a promotion

on, and as soon as you invent that statistical category 50 people in

that institution will be at work trying to figure out a way to make it

look as if progress is actually occurring when actually no progress

is..." (Juking the Stats)

What do you think we need? More rigorous tests? Better care? Or should we give up on the whole measurement thing?

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