Two practices in United States Education have gone on for a long time, leaving mostly disappointment as their residue:
a. new school superintendents are hailed in the media as saviors and their possible future school successes are treated not as aspirations but as fait accompli accompanying the superintendent’s arrival.
b. People in high places accept and celebrate, even, school self-reported gains in school test results even though external testing experts caution all not to make too much of what they are seeing. (The New York Times, A1 (10/11/10) reports on another set of footballs snatched away before they were kicked. See “Warning Signs Long Ignored On New York City’s School Tests.”)
These two habits are no more than another manifestation of an in-grained American cultural tic: the triumph of hope over experience. And these persistent attempts to kick the-football-that-wasn’t-there may be the best explanation why the kids’ achievement in school seems so low.
To examine these issues further, see Justice Through Testing