In light of the enormous and growing amount of evidence on testing together with low scores in higher grades and dropout rates, we must really question the presumption herein that high-stakes testing has really led to improvements in our schools. This theory of action breaks down because it falsely assumes that there are no collateral effects and also that every single community in the nation is equipped to provide an informed, well researched, well-resourced response to evidence of failing schools.
There's plenty of evidence out there that this theory of action simply has not delivered. None of that found its way here in this scathing critique of the Ford Foundation by the Wall St. Journal.
REVIEW & OUTLOOKNOVEMBER 17, 2009
The Edsel of Education Reform
The Ford Foundation finds a needy cause: teachers unions.
We hate to say it, but don't be misled by headlines. The biggest headline in education circles last week was that the Ford Foundation is making a whopping $100 million grant "to transform secondary education in the nation's most disadvantaged schools."
Our eyes raced to see which piece of the vibrant school-reform movement Ford was going to support. Would it be America's 4,600 charters schools, many outperforming their traditional school peers and some even closing the race gap? Maybe it would be Teach for America, busting at the seams and turning down Ivy League applicants by the hundreds. Or, who knows, maybe Ford's really on the leading edge, and would want to support voucher programs in cities like Washington.
Read on here.