Diane Ravitch on test scores and family wealth


Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education who actually has some insight into what works and doesn’t work in education, puts standardized testing clearly into the doesn’t-work category.

She reemphasized that fact last night at Baylor University in a speech in which she, among other things, noted that standardized tests measure the “family wealth index” of a child, not his or her knowledge or ability to learn.

You can read a fuller account of her speech in the Waco newspaper story linked below.

Low-income children generally turn in lower scores on standardized tests, and Ravitch isn’t the only person of note who knows this. So do teachers, principals and superintendents.

And, so do most legislators, at least those who actually pay attention to test scores. Yet, the majority of Texas lawmakers not only continue to under-fund education, they also under-fund programs, such as health care, that could help improve the educational prospects for thousands of school children.

“The test scores of 15-year-olds indicate nothing about the future performance of our country, nothing at all,” Ravitch said.

Legislative neglect, however, says a lot about the future performance of Texas.



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