Thomas C. Reeves [PDF]:
In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, teachers and administrators are eager to avoid being branded deficient and suffer potential financial losses. Department of Public Instruction officials in Wisconsin reported recently that the cost of tests taken in late 2005 included a $10 million contract with CTB/McGraw Hill, a well-known testing company that designed new tests exclusively for the state. Almost half a million students took the tests, and the overall results were less than encouraging. This at a time when much money and effort have been employed to hike the quality of instruction and fend off the transfer of students to voucher schools.
Common sense and decades of teaching experience dictate at least two observations: 1) until the home life of many low-income students improves (two parents, a steady income, solid moral teaching, at least some sort of intellectual stimulation higher than MTV, including the reading of books), the young people in question cannot be expected to embrace a life of learning and begin to plan for the future;