Writing in “Fraudulent Lowering of the Bar” (Phi Beta Cons Blog, Monday, August 17, 2009), Candace de Russy says:
Diane Ravitch, the eminent education expert, is a betting woman. She’s betting that New York State’s new state commissioner of education, David Steiner, can improve K-12 schools by restoring the state’s shabby testing standards and practices. These standards withered when the No Child Left Behind Act became law and required states to pledge student proficiency by 2014. The rub was, as Ravitch points out, that the federal goverment left it to the states to determine the meaning of “proficient.” New York (not surprisingly, it is not too cynical to say) responded by taking the low road, that is, dropping the number of points that students must earn on various tests (including the prestigious Regents high school exams) in order to ensure test-score gains (and thus mollify the feds). Ravitch is wagering that Steiner can sucessfully challenge the state’s educational establishment and put an end to this ponzi scheme. But so powerful and impregnable is the state’s educational establishment, which perpetrated the fraud in the first place, that I for one am placing no such bets.