This reader sees ominous signs as his school complies with the demands of Race to the Top:
Race to the Top is diverting teacher know-how, skill, talent, passion, etc to numbers crunching and reporting. taking valuable time away from figuring out how to teach well. We are heading rapidly to where the only people who will be able to get a deep enough education to be capable of being in charge of anything in the world will be those who can go to private schools.
Race to the Top is a misnomer – it is Crawl off the Bottom because it does not allocate any”measurable” value to AP classes, college credit offerings. art or music. Our numbers are measured by scores on academic tests. To comply with Race to the Top, we have to give our students a “pre-test” at the beginning of our classes this September, a test designed for students to fail because it is similar to what they will take as final exams at the end of the year. the point being to show improvement, but it means students all over NYS are starting off their year by massively taking tests they will fail miserably on, per requirement of NyS’ compliance with RTT.Every teacher I know learned in their earliest classes & experiences, that testing to show failures is VERY bad pedagogy.
And to keep things in perspective, 60% of the federal budget goes to war & defense, compared to 2% to education. The rest of the cost of public schooling is carried by state & local governments. is that the kind of support that will allow this generation to run the country any better? I don’t think so.