quote:But some education advocates question whether states are gradually dumbing down their tests so that more students pass and their school systems can meet the targets. They point to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test given to a sample of children around the country, that were far less rosy last year.
For instance, 32 percent of students in Maryland passed the NAEP fourth-grade reading test, while 81 percent of fourth-graders passed the state's test.
South Carolina, on the other hand, is regarded as having a tougher state test, and its students scored about the same on NAEP as the state tests.
My sister is a 20 elementary/primary school teacher. She has 2 Master's degrees and is in a PHD program. She tells me that while she supports accountability in general and testing in specific, her two complaints about NCLB testing is that 1) schools are teaching to the test, when they are not testing FROM the actual test. This is "teaching" child what to think not how to think. 2) schools' entire curricula and resources are test directed, very little resources are being spent on music, Phys Ed and art. The things that develop well rounded, creative and thinking students.
I realize that this is only anecdotal evidence, but in tend to trust information coming out of the trenches more than that coming from PR depts.