The “Keep CATS at All Costs” crowd is clearly getting desperate. Their latest shot, fired from the pen of Jack D. Foster, former secretary of education and humanities and a major architect of KERA, is a prime example.
While our economy shatters and we need government to reign in costs before we all go bankrupt, this education worthy proposes creating a vast new education assessment bureaucracy. This potentially huge agency would be staffed by “testing specialists,” who would emerge from who knows where, to run tests “at regular intervals” in every single classroom in this state.
See Foster’s incredibly out of touch test change proposition for yourself here.
Can you even begin to imagine how many extra people would be required to do this?
For starters, just think about the huge new per diem and travel costs this bureaucratic monster would suck up from our extremely strained state resources.
Then, think about how this would have to work. Will the tests be administered at the same time everywhere? If so, then a truly huge staff is indeed required.
If the testing is staggered, how can we insure that students and schools don’t pass test questions back and forth? Even if there is no cheating, how can we insure that the staggered admission tests are adjusted so that students who take them later don’t get an advantage simply from having spent more days in class? Would we need different tests for different days? That’s a hugely expensive proposition.
And, doesn’t this testing concept force us to adopt a statewide curriculum to insure that all classrooms cover exactly the same material in the same timeframe before the testers arrive?
This is just a short list of problems I see with this idea. CATS is too expensive now, but just wait if this incredibly bad idea is adopted by our spend-all-we-can-get, Draudmobile-Minded educators.