Arne Duncan Feels “Tests Accurately Reflect Student Learning”


Last weekend’s release by the Atlanta Journal Constitutionof an investigative report into possible cheating across the nation drew this email comment from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

“These findings are concerning,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an emailed statement after being briefed on the AJC’s analysis.

He added: “States, districts, schools and testing companies should have  sensible safeguards in place to ensure tests accurately reflect student  learning.”

Does Duncan believe that tests can accurately “reflect student learning?”  If so, he’s taking the position that one multiple choice test – designed far away from the building where a student goes to school – is absolute in measuring something – student learning – that is both broad and ambiguous.

Duncan’s statement reveals just how much the main players in education reform are devoted to testing. The tests which the Secretary is so enamored with were once called “achievement” tests and later, “assessment” tools.  Nonetheless,  Duncan’s statement shows that education reformers are trying to maintain the narrative that standardized tests have more value and are far more important than they ever have been before.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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