Must-Read Freedman…He Doesn’t Grade On A Curve

In today’s Times Samuel Freedman turns in an absolute must-read about No Child Left Behind. Read the entire thing:

…”If you scratch the surface of this town, a lot of contradictions are going to emerge,” said Ron Plummer, a project manager for a technology company and a co-chairman of the school district’s minority education committee. “I do have some suspicions when measurements come from standardized tests alone. But if it’s going to shine a bright light on the inadequacies of the system, especially as it regards children of color, then I’m all in favor.”

In any case, there can be a tone of defensiveness, even smugness, among certain school leaders in Princeton. “We’re proud of our F,” said Lewis Goldstein, the assistant superintendent, referring to the contradiction between the district’s overall success and its standing under No Child Left Behind. “It’s as if you handed in your homework and the teacher handed it back and you got a 98 on it and an F. That’s the situation we’re in”…

And that there is what they call a tension…especially when according to Freedman that “98” includes:

Last month, the school [did not make “adequately yearly progress] for the second year in a row, this time because 37 percent of black students failed to meet standards in English, and 55 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics failed in math.

98? Guess they grade on a curve.

Update: Kindling Flames asks a good question.

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