Good news for students and teachers arrived in December when President Obama signed legislation to rewrite the No Child Left Behind act, returning power to states to determine how to improve troubled schools.
The bipartisan bill maintained federally mandated standardized testing, but eliminated punitive consequences for states and districts that performed poorly.
The President pronounced the end to the one-size-fits-all approach to reform, recognizing the wide variance among districts for numerous reasons.
States now decide how to fix troubled districts and that could remain a problem for poorer, rural schools that don’t match up with wealthy suburban districts.
Whenever the subject of standardized testing comes up, we think of former Morenci superintendent of schools Ron O’Brien and his list of qualities not covered on tests.
He mentions these skills and traits: Motivation, critical thinking, curiosity, reliability, empathy, self-discipline, civic mindedness, resourcefulness, sense of humor, integrity, creativity, resilience, persistence, endurance, enthusiasm, self-awareness, leadership, courage, compassion, acquiring an appreciation of beauty and honest.
Those are all important qualities for children to develop—something that the all-important standardized test never touches.