So what’s up with the Province’s plan to publish the result of standardized tests. Seem’s like a good thing to me. Children write the tests and each school’s test results are made public. Let’s be straight on one thing. The Province is publishing the overall school score and where it ranked against other schools. It is NOT publishing individual students scores.
While I think it is a good thing, the province thinks it is a good thing and the majority of parents think it is a good thing, the teachers and principals are against it. Huh? They state that ranking schools against one another will “demoralize” schools that perform at the bottom of the ranking. Okay, but maybe thats a good thing too. Maybe if the students, parents and teachers realize they are not doing as well as other schools, they might want to try something different so that next year they are up near or at the top. That’s what happens with good students, good sports teams and good businesses. Why not with schools? Well , say the teachers and principals, it does not take in to account the “challenges” that some schools face and others do not. This is “politically correct speak” for schools in poorer neighbourhoods -the “challenges” – and schools in more affluent areas where these “challenges” do not exist. The undelying subtext to this is that if your child is going to a school in a lower household finacial area forget it. The chances that he/she are going to reach for the top are slim. But, nobody says it this way. You can’t. We don’t speak the truth anymore.
If you show that test scores are lower in lower income areas, and you make it public rather than keeping the information inside the education system, maybe there will be enough of an uproar to get things done that will change it. Whether it is more money for extra programs or a push to get parents to do their part at home, hopefully something will be done to break the cycle. It would happen if ol’ Rodney is in an election year.
But what if all the uproar is a result of teachers not wanting to be graded. I assume the union doesn’t want any information out there that may show that some teachers are just not cutting it. That sort of thing would not be usefull at the next contract negotiation session. That’s being awfully cynical of me. After all, the union, like any union has the students best interest at heart, right? Right?
Not that I think that unions are bad. Not at all. I have read about unions that are starting in India that are doing wonderfull things when it comes to reasonable wages and improved working conditions for people who have been working in deplorable sweat shops. Here in Canada we have the CAW negotiating $70,000+ salaries for people to put panels on car doors, and then complaining that the manufacturing jobs are leaving. One of the Canada Post unions CUPW or CUPE, I can’t remember which, was the largest commercial landlord in Ottawa a few years back. Don’t even get me started on the miner’s union in Cape Breton. When deer season started no one showed up for work, yet the union wouldn’t allow anyone to be disciplined. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
I digress. Publish the scores. I think the children can handle it even if the teachers can’t.
For now, I remain,
The Sour Kraut