Here’s a short excerpt:
“Sec. of Education Arne Duncan believes that standards, incentives, and accountability will bring us to the educational promised land….His program is doomed. It’s doomed because it’s aimed at the wrong target, and it can’t be fairly implemented. With test scores as the standard of excellence, very few teachers will be “incented” to apply themselves. We know that standardized tests measure students’ backgrounds more than real learning. And we know that students with special needs require more time and attention than the achievers. We also know that, due to the fact that poor and affluent people tend to live in different neighborhoods, some schools serve more challenging populations than others. None of that is a matter of chance. No amount of education will improve economic opportunities for people until they can look forward to good-paying jobs, health care, and decent places to live when they leave school.”
He goes on to highlight a paper by my favorite education writer, Richard Rothstein. That paper, Holding Accountability to Account: How Scholarship and Experience in Other Fields Inform Exploration of Performance Incentives in Education, is available to be downloaded for free.