Placing Accountabilty for the College Remediation Epidemic

Florida children have been conditioned to see that high-stakes tests are the only thing that matters since Jeb Bush launched his school-grade accountability scheme  10 years ago. Yet even with our state’s schools now dominated by a culture of testing,  Bush and his acolytes have dodged accountability for the frightening number of Florida college freshmen who need remediation in reading, writing or math.

Florida is not alone. A Simple Google search showed similar data coming from Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Vermont, Texas, Washington, New Jersey, and California.

Thus far, ed reforms rock stars have dodged accountability. Its the teachers, you see. Those tests and core standards we’ve invested in should have made everything better.

With opposition to the test-dominated schemes that Bush favors now coming from people other than teachers, ed reforms go-to mouthpieces don’t have a convenient evil boogeyman anymore in the nation’s teachers or their unions. Even casual observers realize that high-stakes tests now rule the nation’s schools and that both teachers and students are judged by the data. 

Ed reformers like Bush havent learned that test scores are so limited, as evidenced by his successful efforts earlier this year to make  FCAT more difficult. Supposed to be the solution to “failing schools,” test scores don’t translate to results that are actually important like college readiness for individual students. Such a reality delivers a blow to ed reformers narrative. The haste to implement suppressive testing regimes based on a “failing schools” meme has produced students who may score well on multiple-choice tests, but aren’t ready to succeed in college.






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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