Tight/Loose Management in Action
(Guest post by Greg Forster)
Let’s climb into the Wayback Machine for a second. Poking around some old posts on this topic, I found this.
Remember, it’s liberals who believe that people should be held to different standards.
To which I responded:
Right. Because if Johnny learns long division in fourth grade and Suzy learns it in third grade, that’s the moral equivalent of a racial quota.
A commenter objected:
Is that a fair characterization of this debate? Deciding whether long division is presented to kids in 3rd or 4th grade?
I thought the national standards seem to be a way to ultimate get a national test. And that’s what Checker seems to be signing onto. Because in some states, Johnny can NEVER learn long division and still get a high school in diploma.
Seems like Checker is fighting against states setting low cut marks on tests, thereby deceiving Johnny and fooling his parents into trusting the schools that all is okay.
On this “national test” you pine for, will long division be on the third grade test? Yes or no? If yes, Johnny will have to learn it before he’s ready. If no, Suzy will waste a year of math classes waiting for Johnny to catch up. Or do you plan to custom-build a test for each student?
This way of framing the argument, of course, brings me to Neal’s point that the national standards debate and the school choice debate are interconnected. I hope to write a longer response to Neal on that soon. For now, let me just observe the following:
- Events have now confirmed that Checker was, indeed, signing on for a national test to be taken by all students. Or if you want you can call it a national choice between two tests, both created behind closed doors by agents of the national government – huge difference!
- If we have a national test for all students, or a national choice between two tests both of which were created by the national government, that testing regime will obviously drive what gets taught and how.
Sorry, nationalizers, but…