Thanks, Montgomery County School Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said yesterday that the federal No Child Left Behind law has created a culture that has education leaders nationwide “shooting way too low” and that it has spawned a generation of statewide tests that are too easy to pass.
In a meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters, Weast said the federal mandate, with its push for 100 percent proficiency on state tests, has driven states toward lower standards that don’t prepare most students for college or careers.
“I think we’ve got to adjust up,” he said. “Or at least give some flexibility for those who would like to adjust up.”
Although some states, including Maryland, have been praised for holding children to comparatively high standards, Weast said the state curriculum, the statewide Maryland School Assessment and the High School Assessment all measure a minimal level of academic proficiency. The reason, he said, is that Maryland and most other states have leaders who want their kids “to look good” on such assessments.