California Educator


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 39

policy, is a professor of education at Stan- ford and co-directs the university’s School Redesign Network. She notes that inner- city and poor, rural schools most in need of support instead pay a “diversity penal- ty” for serving a wide range of students and stand to lose funds under NCLB in- stead of getting the help they need. “Standardized tests can only show us what a student knows if the conditions are right,” says Curtis Washington, a math teacher and a CTA Board member. “When conditions are right, the kid had a good breakfast and a good attitude and the stars are aligned.” Washington served on the state’s High School Exit Exam Committee and its High School Restructuring Committee. As a math teacher at a high-performing high school, he has seen cases where students bubble in the answers without reading the questions or “make pretty faces with the bubbles” because they don’t care about the results, since scores are not reflected on their report card grades. When that hap- pens, they do not accurately reflect what students know. In the San Mateo Union High School District where he has taught for many years, Curtis has seen overemphasis on testing and labeling schools as so-called “failures” have a devastating impact. One school with lower test scores was given a bad rap by some parents in the commu- nity, resulting in lower enrollment and lesser funding as students enrolled in oth- er schools or transferred out. “Because of testing, kids in some schools are left behind,” says Washington. “Competition reduces diversity and the right: Seventh-grade math and pre-algebra teacher Christina Rodriguez goes over a problem at Giano Intermediate in Rowland. november 2009 | 15

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - NOVEMBER 09