By this time, many readers have probably already heard about the southern California high school that issued color-coded student ID’s based on student standardized test scores. They also made students wait in different lunch lines, among other things.

I had heard about this controversy a few days ago, but waited because I wanted to see if the Los Angeles Times would cover the story. In the past they have demonstrated that they don’t understand the concept of irony (see The L.A. Times Does Not Appear To Understand What “Irony” Means), and I was hoping to see how they’d handle this story in light of their own actions of doing to teachers what the high school principal was doing to students (see The Best Posts About The LA Times Article On “Value-Added” Teacher Ratings).

However, they have not yet published anything on the controversy, and I figured I couldn’t wait any longer. I wonder if their lack of coverage could have anything to do with this dilemma, or am I attributing too much thoughtful reflective ability to them?

The actions at the high school are so wrong on so many levels. They are pointed out very clearly in the resources on this list. But, if you want to learn more about how their policy flies in the face of fairness, justice, and just plain effectiveness, you can read My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students. You might also find this post interesting — Emphasizing Pride, Not Shame, In Classroom Management.

Before I share links to articles and posts, I should mention that I checked-out that high school’s test scores on our state Department of Education website. It’s not surprise, but you’ll find that lower-income and ethnic minority students got lower-test scores than other students.

Of course, I don’t believe test scores provide an accurate measure of student achievement, and that there are many critical qualities needed for lifetime success that you don’t see through test results. Coincidentally, you’ll be able to read all about that topic in my next Education Week column — What Are Critiques Of Standardized Tests & What Are Alternatives?

Here are my choices for The Best Resources To Learn About High School ID’s & The Scarlet Letter (there are some amazing quotes in these articles, and excellent critiques):

Principal defends color-coded IDs is from The Orange County Register.

Student IDs that reveal test scores deemed illegal is from the Orange County Register.

Anaheim Union kills color-coded ID program appeared in the Orange County Register.

Color Coded High School ID Cards Sort Students by Test Performance by Anthony Cody at Ed Week.


Eugenic Legacies Still Influence Education is by David B. Cohen.

Here’s the latest article from the Orange County Register.

Taking Standardized Tests to an Extreme is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.