11/07/2005

Ravitch & Finn: Separated At Birth?

Great minds thinks alike... very alike.

In today's NYT, Diane Ravitch dissects the gap between what state tests say about student achievement and what NAEP, the nation's report card, has to say (Every State Left Behind). Generally, the state scores are higher than the national scores, which Ravitch believes is confusing and bad.

It's a good point. And yes, the state standards are often set way too low. However, the arguments printed under Ravitch's name today mirror almost exactly what Checker Finn wrote two weeks ago in The Gadfly (
The two faces of No Child Left Behind).

Like-minded thinkers writing similar things is no great surprise, and ideas moving from the online world to the MSM is increasingly common.

But it goes further than that.
Ravitch even paraphrases Checker's famous (to me) line from at least five years ago about Republicans hating anything with the word "national" in it and Democrats hating anything with the word "test."
"Republicans are wary of national standards and a national curriculum, while Democrats are wary of testing in general."
Now I don't know who is cribbing off of whom, and there are of course variations in the arguments each presents. I'm not suggesting anything really wrong here. But still...

1 Comments:

Anonymous Carolyn said...

Thanks for summing this up.
It doesn't seem to me that Republicans are having any trouble what so ever with the concept of "national". NCLB is nothing if isn't national, and wouldn't the right like to be dictating everything from birth to death? It may be that Democrats aren't against testing so much as too much testing that is used to punish rather than remediate.

1:27 PM  

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