"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."The headline story in this week's Time Magazine is "How to Make Great Teachers." There's also a companion story "Hey They Do It Abroad." After reading these articles, which talk about teachers getting paid better abroad, being given more collaborative prep time abroad, having their educations paid for by their countries to become teachers, and the increasing focus abroad on critical thinking skills, Hanna commented: "How is it that after reading about all of this, the response here [in the US] is to focus on standardized testing and merit-based pay based on testing?" I think she has an excellent point.
No Child Left Behind (or funded) has left many kids behind, and it has put the focus in schools on training instead of on education. Training is designed to impart a defined, repeatable skill set in a rote manner without need for thought. Education imparts the ability to think critically and creatively. A well-educated student should be able to take foundation concepts and expand upon them on their own. The current focus on standardized testing does not achieve this objective. Who cares if test scores are improving? It's all pointless and stupid if they aren't able to think when they graduate (IF they graduate).