The other day my older son told me a revealing story about his final days as a student in Minneapolis Public Schools:
One day last spring, one of his teachers informed the class that if they wanted to take the state science exams, they were welcome to go down to the office and schedule a time. This was the International Baccalaureate section of a hard science course, a dozen kids who presumably would make Southwest High School and its teachers look shiny and successful. And who were all, at the time, prepping for a solid month of IB testing — something the school brags about in its marketing efforts.
As he talked, I looked up the recently released results of the assessments. At his school 43 kids, or a little more than a tenth of the class, took the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in math. Sixty-one 10th-graders took the reading test. Results involving fewer than 10 students are not reported publicly for privacy reasons; too few 11th graders to count took the math test.
So consider for a moment: Only 104 of about 1,400 kids who were supposed to take the test did.
And what have we heard about it from the higher-ups? Zip.
This is the third year running in which district and state leaders have done nothing when confronted with abundant evidence that teachers are putting up roadblocks to the collection of data. Honestly, when fewer than 10 kids take the math test, how many people had to turn a blind eye — or collude — all the way up to the highest levels of the education system?