Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Why is the SAT subject to more criticism than the NCLB testing?

The WaPo piece is by way of Tim at his excellent edublog, Assorted Stuff, which everyone should read, but the point of this post is completely my own take.

I don't get Jay Mathews.

This week, he rants about the SAT, old or new, in his latest column. Fine with me, I agree.

But nowhere does he make clear why he has a pro-testing stance when it comes to NCLB, unlike his SAT criticism. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the SAT is probably more rigorously crafted than most state tests used for NCLB.

*NCLB imposes a type of high-stakes testing that brings terror to probably most school administrators and teachers all around the nation, just like the whole SAT thing can be so stressful for parents and kids all around the nation.

*With both, you've got a major outcome based on test results.

Like I said, it's not clear why he likes one and not the other. And if he and his kid(s) personally had to experience the results of NCLB based testing, I wonder if he'll be whistling a different tune.

So, what gives?

Curious, Mathews allows a very quick acknowledgment that the parent company of his employer is making money off NCLB by way of Kaplan. Kaplan is a company who hit a major vein in a gold mine when it comes to NCLB but this bit of info is kinda obscure which is why I'm here making a big to-do about it.

Which brings me to this obscure thought: perhaps he wouldn't be the education columnist if he didn't support NCLB.