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Sunday, September 16, 2012
 
Standardized Tests Only Measure the Ability to Take Standardized Tests....

Except when they can be used to support public school teachers.  In the midst of an otherwise fatheaded analysis of the Chicago teacher strike, Richark Kahlenberg lets the mask slip a bit:

Although 88 percent of charters are nonunion, giving principals in those schools the flexibility that reformers prize, the most comprehensive study of charter schools (backed by pro-charter foundations), concluded that charters are about twice as likely to underperform regular public schools as to outperform them.
 And how did the study determine that?  By comparing standardized test scores!  Of course, Kahlenberg doesn't mention that in his article, because later on he rails against using standardized test scores to grade teachers:

Kudlow and other union critics are enraged that the Chicago teachers balked at having their livelihoods placed at the mercy of student test score results. But does it really make sense for a teacher to be held entirely responsible for the performance of a student who is evicted and becomes homeless in the middle of the school year or a student devastated when her brother is shot dead in the street?
The rest of the article is just as bad.  Kahlenberg replies to those critics who feel that somehow the students might be better served by being in school:

Moreover, a brief strike can have its own educational value for children. As labor attorney Moshe Marvit told me, “In Chicago, 350,000 public school students are experiencing, first-hand, how workers can band together and demand a voice in the workplace.” Noting the many children present on picket lines, Marvit suggests, “These teachers are teaching their students, through action, the power of collective action and solidarity.”
Hey, if a labor attorney says it's all good, who am I to quibble.  BTW, it turns out that Kahlenberg and Marvit are used to collaborating:

Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, is author of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy, and coauthor, with Moshe Marvit, of Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy By Enhancing Worker Voice.
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