The Lunacy of an Achievement Gap

How did YOUR child score on…?
Achievement gap? This commonplace term is, in reality, meaningless when children (little human beings) are measured by the federal, state and local mandated high stakes tests (all brands) that assume that their numbers are facts.

Numbers are numbers. Facts are facts. Ask any actuary.
(Example of a number versus a fact: Never attempt to walk across a lake that has an average depth of 4 feet. If you have to think about this for more than 10 seconds, you are on the wrong end of all achievement gaps.)

Achievement gap

There are two things by which students – and, now, teachers – are evaluated: benchmarks and growth. Standardized tests label judge students as basicproficient, or advanced based on their performance on a super-secret summative assessment – and expect proficiency, at least. Then there’s VAM – or Value-Added Measures. After labels judgments are dispensed, determinations are made – based on scores from The Test – whether or not students made a year’s worth of growth based on invalidated junk science. So – for those keeping score at home – both state and federal governments would have public schools achieve proficiency (or better) at 100% and achieve a year’s worth of growth (or better) for all students while closing a gap in achievement at the same time.”

Now, if that oxymoronic thought process doesn’t give you a headache, nothing will.
Please remember that today’s entire high stakes testing craze is all about $$$$$$$, $800 billion last year alone. Children, teachers, schools and legislators are being used as excuses for creating this new wealth source for multinational investors and hedge fund managers in the Educational Industrial Complex.

Read the entire, eminently readable, BEEBALEEB article, charts and all, HERE.

By the way, when you walk away from a situation knowing more than you did before, you have learned something. People who want to quantify and monetize everything hate this fact.


About Ken Previti
This entry was posted in betrayal, civic duty, greed, ignorance, privatization, propaganda, testing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Lunacy of an Achievement Gap

  1. Thank you for your insight.

    Even if we put a group together of the same race, the same gender, with the same bank balance and the same I.Q. but expect everyone to perform a task within the same time frame-there will always be a gap-either in accuracy, speed or appearance..

    Solution: Eliminate achievement gaps by redefining the individual through accurate productivity and progress. Establish measurable achievement by eliminating the ceiling and allowing wider time frames for completion. Then train the individual to become an efficient user of time and energy.,,,a.k.a. …..success comes quicker.

    Bottom Line: Allow each individual to achieve uniquely through individual access to mastery.
    Extra point credit, units and courses are made available to any interested student and parent. This approach can run parallel to teacher-led instruction required by the system.

    Example: One of my students independently completed extensive units on cartography. He was a 1st grader who received recognition for his endeavors through Independent Studies. He inspired others. He achieved uniquely. His attitude toward all required studies improved. His mental efficiency grew by leaps and bounds. He held no one back and most importantly, he was not held back either. Cartography is not a curriculum requirement for 1st graders-at least not to the extent that his studies took him…..but eliminating the monitoring of gaps lit a flame under this child. He had a passion to learn because he was free to do so.

    We can always find a gap if the purpose is to find fault. Wouldn’t it be nice just to elevate the opportunities.

  2. Ken Previti says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Moments like these are becoming fewer and fewer as scripted texts and mandated preps and tests waste time and money. This is my hope for the future. Once parents, teachers and the general public realize that the testing craze is a financial scam rather than an education reform, real teaching and the resultant educated adult will be the outcome. A child learns and flourishes to become a fuller human being who adds to the texture of civilization. Now, THAT’S education.

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