Don’t teach better; just teach less ethically.

In yet another reminder that it’s all about the bureaucracy and not about the child, it turns out that California joins the lists of states lying and cheating to get federal funds (and what a good lesson that is to teach our children):

California and some other states have inflated test outcomes by lowering the achievement standard students need to meet to be proficient in reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, university researchers say.

It amounts to a dumbing down of how the states calculate student progress, the researchers concluded.

Under No Child Left Behind, individual schools and school districts can be punished for repeatedly failing to meet the federal standards, including restructuring schools and possibly closing them in extreme cases.

Researchers with Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) studied 12 states and found nearly all reported results significantly higher than those gathered through the federal government’s own testing.

Their study confirms long-held suspicions that many states have set a low bar on what it means to be proficient, distorting the true extent to which kids are learning, said Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy and co-director of PACE.

In the process, he said, parents have no clear idea of how their children are progressing.

Regarding the last sentence, the one highlights parents’ ignorance about their children’s progress, I’ll just point to my earlier post on that subject.  It seems to me that parents willingly function in a universe that says, if ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.

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