How to Make Education Worse: Lesson Fifty-Seven

Mark Naison, a professor at Fordham University, posted a piece yesterday on his blog With a Brooklyn Accent that should make anyone with familiarity with the problems of contemporary American education grit their teeth in frustration.  Writing about the Choice Neighborhoods initiative of SUNY Buffalo’s Center for Urban Studies, the city’s Municipal Housing Authority and Erie County’s community action agency, he focuses on one school, Futures Academy, Naison says that:

What the students had accomplished was nothing short of miraculous, but unfortunately, such accomplishments did not register on the metrics mandated for low performing schools by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top and mechanically applied by the State Education Department in Albany. As a result, Futures Academy, whose school population was drawn from students who could not get into or were pushed out of charter schools and magnet schools, went through three different principals in the ten years the Center had worked in it, each one forced out solely because of poor student performance on standardized tests.

What Naison describes is just one more example of how the rich get richer and the poor get squat.  They don’t even get the chance to better themselves, for the “system” is rigged against them.

Read Naison’s piece.  Especially if you still believe that testing and mandates can make for better schools.