"Test scores don't measure excellence, they measure competence. I didn't send my kids to school to learn competence." John Young, as told to Gary Cartwright.
These are the cleanest, truest two sentences on standardized testing I've come across yet.
Read this commentary for more clear-thinking on education reform from John Young. It hinges on a compelling metaphor: would you blame the mechanic for struggling to repair a neglected car, whose owner never changed the oil or checked the oil pressure? No, you would not. It makes as much sense to blame the teacher for struggling (though still in there, trying, every day) to educate the children whose home lives are marked by the corollary of human neglect. John Young is a recently retired columnist for the Waco Tribune Herald. Lucky for us, he's still keeping an eye on education politics and writing about it.
Another gem from Young's article: "No one craves assessments — quality, diagnostic assessments — more than a teacher, or at least the vast majority of true classroom professionals."