‘Opting out’ must lead to more than feel-good policies

Poughkeepsie Journal, Commentary, 4-25-16

No matter how great of an education you think your child is getting, he or she is almost certainly trailing behind kids living in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Canada, Germany, Australia and 18 other countries where, according to Pew Research Center, young people did “significantly” better on the PISA math test than those in the U.S.

That is why most of the heated arguments over opting in or out of standardized tests are missing the point. All of our schools, including yours, need to achieve much higher standards. And — since American students have been required to take standardized tests for more more than a decade — we also know which schools will need to stretch the farthest to get there. But it is simply a matter of degrees. Every parent needs to understand that an “A’’ in their neighborhood could translate into a “C’’ in Japan.

 

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