How good are the tests?

San Francisco schools have come up with a mixed message about how well they are doing. According to state standards schools are improving, but by federal standards of No Child Left Behind, our schools are not doing so well. It’s difficult enough under any circumstances for parents and the public to understand how good the schools are, but having two different standards of measurement makes the task almost impossible. We are reduced to recounting anecdotes we heard at the supermarket and poring over newspaper comments from people who don’t know any more than we do. But gossip isn’t going to get us far with improving the school system. It’s time for the state to come up with a coordinated set of standards that will enable civic minded people to understand where our schools stand. Then we can push for the reforms needed to make them better.

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