Monday, August 24, 2009

Oops...state is late with school data

The Associated Press reports that the Louisiana Department of Education missed an important deadline for reporting school performance scores.

The delay means parents at these schools have less time to take advantage of
federally mandated private tutoring or school choice.

State officials blame the delay on moving the testing dates from March to April, because the testing companies that are paid millions to score the tests need more time to complete their task.

Uhhh...Bad excuse. Test dates were moved for a very good reason: teachers need enough time to ensure that students are taught all the materials included on the tests. If we must have high-stakes tests, they should be done as late in the year as possible.

It is inexcusable that the school year has been calendared for the benefit and convenience of testing companies. But that's just what we've done in Louisiana. That's why school begins in August, when air conditioning costs are highest for schools, when families' vacation plans are inconvenienced, and when school buses are at their hottest.

Perhaps this delay will spur some outrage by parents, and some pressure will build for a more reasonable school calendar.

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