Shame on the Tulsa World (and, to be fair, all media outlets) for its reporting on state standardized test scores. The headline, “Skiatook, Bixby lead test results in suburbs" (Aug. 7) reads like something from the sports page.
Wealthier suburbs don’t “win” or “lead.”
As Bixby Superintendent Rob Miller rightfully and honorably points out, standardized testing is a horribly inaccurate and misleading way to compare teachers, schools and districts.
In a more than 30-year education career that includes stops in inner city schools, magnet programs, private parochial schools and suburbs with markedly different demographics, I have learned that teachers and administrators are working hard everywhere and are focused on student success.
Test-score shaming of the sort perpetrated by the World reinforces distorted perceptions of school quality that Realtors and developers use to scare families away from certain areas and push them towards the “right” school districts.
No Child Left Behind and it’s ugly stepsister the Every Student Succeeds Act make educational inequality worse, not better, and this reporting makes the jobs of dedicated professionals in challenging roles even harder.
Perhaps an in-depth series about the true meaning and impact of state testing, rather than a catchy drive-by headline is in order.
Our children and our schools deserve more truthful reporting.
Editor's Note: Stan Trout is the principal of Charles Page High School in Sand Springs Public Schools.
Planning the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre history center
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