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Paul Thomas, professor at Furman University, taught in South Carolina for 18 years. He is an eloquent and informed critic of social and education policy.
In this post, he poses five questions that every Presidential candidate should be asked (again and again).
I paraphrase his words and questions so you will read his post. They boil down to these principles:
Test-based accountability does not change the underlying social and economic conditions that cause disparate test results.
Test-based accountability has stripped teachers of their professional autonomy. As a result, fewer people choose teaching as a career.
Due to underlying economic inequality, children of color are more likely to be poor, to be segregated, to get fewer educational opportunities, to be suspended or expelled, and to have less opportunity to succeed in school and beyond. Tests don’t reduce income inequality or wealth inequality.
What, sir or madam, will you do to reduce these economic gaps instead of spending billions to measure them?