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I wrote this article for The Progressive. It describes the failed bipartisan consensus of the past 20 years.
It’s my view of what Joe Biden needs to do to reverse the toxic legacy of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, and the current Every Student Succeeds Act.
With the Biden administration’s decision about testing, he’s off to a bad start.
The article begins:
President Joe Biden will have his work cut out in repairing the damage done to U.S. education caused by Donald Trump and his one-time Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. But Biden and his Secretary of Education nominee, Miguel Cardona, must also reverse at least twenty years of federal education policy, starting over with measures that allow teachers to teach and children to learn without fear of federal sanctions.
Since the enactment of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002, the nation’s public schools have been required to administer standardized tests in reading and mathematics to every student in grades three through eight, a practice unknown in any high-performing nation. These tests have high stakes for students (who might fail to be promoted), teachers (who might be fired if their students’ test scores don’t rise), and schools (which might be closed if test scores don’t go up).
We have poured billions of dollars into that fake corporate-style reform and achieved little other than demoralized teachers.and students.
In addition, three successive presidential administrations—Bush, Obama, and Trump—have pressured school districts to accept privately managed charter schools. Educators and parents have tried to fend off a powerful and well-funded privatization movement that promotes privately managed charter schools and vouchers as the cure for low test scores (which they are not). This so-called reform movement has paid little attention to the need for adequate and equitable resources.