USA Today has an in-depth investigation (via) of the remarkably good test performance of DC schools under Michelle Rhee, which seems to correspond with a remarkably high level of erasures on those tests:
A former Noyes parent, Marvin Tucker, says he suspected something was wrong in 2003, when the test scores his daughter, Marlana, brought home from school showed she was proficient in math.
Tucker says he was skeptical because the third-grader was getting daily instruction from a private tutor yet struggled with addition and subtraction. “She was nowhere near where they said she was on the test,” he says. “I thought something was wrong with the test.”
He questioned Ryan, the principal, and teachers about his daughter’s scores but no one could explain how she had scored so high, Tucker recalls. Ultimately, Ryan barred him from the school for a year, saying he had threatened staff members, Tucker says. Tucker denies that.
Tucker also points out that if his daughter was proficient as a third-grader, that didn’t last. When Marlana moved on to middle school elsewhere in D.C., her test scores fell and she no longer was considered proficient in math, he says.
ED has a post about parents opting out of standardized tests, and who can blame them? Even if they’re administered honestly, the amount of effort that goes into teaching test taking skills (versus the content of the tests) makes them a time-wasting diversion.