Tennessee legislators are tying test scores to benefits for poor children and their families via SB 132 and HB 261 – the bills have passed in both houses. Are we really that sure that the tests are valid? Sure enough to connect these high stakes tests to kids’ access to food and shelter?
Apparently, the impetus is to get supposedly neglectful parents to be more responsible in their efforts to
assure their children’s educational progress. Though that may be a fine theoretical idea, there are many unproven assumptions implicit in it:
1) Neglectful parents – all children who do not achieve proficient scores on standardized tests have parents who don’t care for them.
2) Educational progress – children who achieve proficient scores on standardized tests are well-educated and will reap the benefits of that educational status.
3) Educational progress – children who do NOT achieve proficient scores on standardized tests are poorly educated and destined for life-long failure.
Each of these assumptions is erroneous. All can be proven incorrect in a number of cases. But – it’s OK to base legislation on such fallacious thinking.
Where does the stupidity end?