California Governor Puts the Testing Juggernaut On IcePosted: May 18, 2011
California Governor Jerry Brown has taken a big step towards reducing the testing mania in the nation’s most populous state. Up until his administration we have been on an accelerated path towards the comprehensive data-driven system that test publishers and corporate reformers have convinced leaders is needed to improve schools. But in the May budget outline from Brown’s office, he makes it clear he is putting on the brakes. […]
Jerry Brown is unusual among our nation’s governors. He got a bit more involved than most in on-the-ground school reform while he was serving as mayor of Oakland. He learned the hard way how schools are a reflection of deeper social issues. In a statement he wrote to respond to Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top a year and a half ago, while he was California’s Attorney General, he said:
You assume we know how to “turn around all the struggling low performing schools,” when the real answers may lie outside of school. As Oakland mayor, I directly confronted conditions that hindered education, and that were deeply rooted in the social and economic conditions of the community or were embedded in the particular attitudes and situations of the parents. There is insufficient recognition in the draft regulations that inside and outside of school strategies must be interactive and merged.