It’s cult-like, the use of the word “proficient” when it comes to reading and literacy. Most people do not even know what the word means when it comes to educational achievement testing.
Two articles published this week make interesting companions.
The first is Jack Schneider’s post—published in the Washington Post as part of Valerie Strauss’s column: How Are America’s Public Schools Really Doing? Schneider, of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, explores the fact that widespread public perception of America’s public education system tanked after No Child Left Behind labeled an ever-increasing number of schools as failing every year. So-called failing schools were the ones that couldn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress on what we now know was a crazy and unrealistic timeline. It became apparent, as the 2014 deadline approached when all public schools were supposed to make every child proficient or be labeled “failing,” that almost every school in America would have been received the label except that Arne Duncan’s Department of Education began granting the states waivers from what had become a ridiculous expectation.
Schneider describes what became a…
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