I usually do not get too political on this blog, but I am red-hot mad about something I heard on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning. David Gregory was interviewing Senator Chris Dodd (D) Connecticut. Dodd made a statement that absolutely infuriated me.
Watch this very short interview or read the transcript below, and see if you can pick up the hypocrisy in one of Dodd’s statment (hint: can you make a connection to the state of education these days?) Gregory asks Dodd to respond to his falling job approval ratings. This is how Dodd answered:
“Well, well David, I’m not sure how to answer. We’ve been through a tough time, obviously, over the last year. But I’m confident, again — do the job, work hard on behalf of the people you represent — that those numbers’ll turn around. These polls are a snapshot. Obviously you pay attention to them, but wish they were better. Obviously had difficulties. But I’m confident, again, a year from now that if I continue working hard on their behalf that these things will turn around.”
Did you pick it up? Did you hear the explanation Dodd gave for his job approval rating that has slipped down to 43 percent? He said, “These polls are a snapshot.”
One simple phrase that really got my blood boiling. Why? Because the politicians are the same geniuses who created NCLB. Do you see the connection yet?
How many times have we educators used a similar phrase when explaining the results from the high-stakes testing we are required to administer every year?
The idea that schools are rated as passing or failing based on a single test that students are required to take is ludicrous. The results of such testing are just a “snapshot” of a school’s progress toward its goals. To judge a school’s effectiveness on a high-stakes test is wrong.
The same can be said for an individual child’s performance on a standardized test. They are just a snapshot of the student’s achievement. The real judge of a child’s success in school is how he performs on a daily basis, all year long.
Instead, a school, or a student, must be judged based on progress made over time, not on a single day (or even a week) of testing.
How dare a U.S. Senator use this excuse to shrug off his failing “test scores” when he is part of the same group of politicians who created NCLB.