It sort of amazes me that this even needs to be argued, but such is the case with much education policy these days. In a great piece, ESL teacher Arthur Goldstein explains how state assessments force him to not help his students learn what they actually need:
Because the exam placed more emphasis on communication than structure, I did not stress structure. I had classes of up to 34, and had to read and comment on everything every kid wrote, so time was limited….
There’s no doubt my students will be more college-ready with a strong background in English structure and usage, something relatively automatic for native speakers.
New York City has committed itself to having a diverse portfolio of schools. While I often disagree on the makeup of that portfolio of schools, I think it’s an admirable goal. But it’s a goal that can never fully be achieved unless there is also a diversity of accountability models. One size cannot fit all.