Mark Dayton: Who benefits from our test obsession?

  • Article by: MARK DAYTON
  • Updated: June 4, 2009 - 7:02 PM

Not students. Mostly the point is to criticize schools. There's a better way.

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noggnbloggnJun. 4, 09 9:46 PM

Can't agree with your assessment, except about the timing part. Results should be immediate to do the most good. Lot's of words to say you don't like testing. Good luck in your sprint for public office. Hope you handle it better than you did being a mostly ineffective Senator.

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peterconnorsJun. 4, 0910:38 PM

Mark Dayton was a leader in the United States Senate to force the federal government to fulfill the promise made in 1975 to fund 40% of special education. I'm glad to see that he is promoting testing that teachers find useful-integrated with instruction- rather than the foolish federal scheme we now have that he accurately analyzes. It is possible to have accountability that makes sense. Let's hear more ideas from Senator Dayton on reforming education in Minnesota.

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duncani9Jun. 5, 09 8:44 AM

Go away, that is. No, it doesn't help with mid-year evaluations. Not the point. It provides a comparable, fair, benchmark to judge individual and school performance against a uniform standard. It is un-Minnesotan, because it requires us to frankly acknowledge that not every kid is above average, and it is our school or our kid that is dragging the system down. "But please, I KNOW my kid is bright, and although the schools are failing, I KNOW that my school is good, and I KNOW my kid's teacher is good. Who are you going to believe? A uniformly applied test or what I've seen myself?" Reminds me of the poor kid with lymphoma that the parents said "but he looks and feels fine, and natural remedies will work."

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njoylife303Jun. 5, 0910:35 AM

Former Senator Dayton obviously has researched this topic and heard both sides of the argument. I certainly didn't know our kids were tested so much. I can only imagine how much money that has cost our school districts! Or did the state and fed. governments give our school districts the money to pay for these testing mandates?

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njoylife303Jun. 5, 0910:40 AM

I hope you will educate yourself on this subject by really looking through the data on our schools' performances. You'll find some trends that are directly related to student performance. You'll also find that these trends have NOTHING to do with teachers or the school that these students attend. They have everything to do with poverty, crisis, and second language attainment. Perhaps the area where we need to start to improve our schools is at the socio-economic level.

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duncani9Jun. 5, 0911:31 AM

Obviously I'm not educated enough? Actually, very well-versed on the subject (Nice condescension and asumption about what I know though). Happy to see the old socio-economic argument trotted out, it's only been around for 20 years. Poor kids and non-English speakers are just too dumb to learn? I'll give a little different spin on it: the schools aren't providing any value. The point of testing is to find the programs that work, reward, and build on them. Removing testing allows everyone to think that they are doing okay, while they all provide no value (they can't make up for socio-economic differences, language gaps, etc.). The fact that you actually know that family income (second to having both parents in the home) is far more important than the school is only because of uniform testing. Three rules: If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist. If you don't want to measure it, it probably means that you don't measure up. If a politician is against measuring, it probably means they're covering up for someone who doesn't measure up.

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securheJun. 5, 0911:38 AM

Guv-Nawh!

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kornheiserJun. 5, 09 4:14 PM

http://www.notonthetest.com/

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njoylife303Jun. 5, 09 5:16 PM

I'm sorry that you took offense to my post. Your follow up, however, still shows that you haven't educated yourself on the topic of standardized testing of children. I hope that you will put aside your ego and really learn about this topic. If you do, you will find that a lot of information that may lead you to change a few of your opinions.

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njoylife303Jun. 5, 09 5:17 PM

Again, no offense meant in your name...just a typo...

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