Thursday, July 7, 2011

Testing wars: The national scene

The battle over testing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a microcosm of what education reporter John Merrow dubs "the education wars" being fought among the nation's top educators, policy-makers and journalists.

Here at home, interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh has just invited more teachers to weigh in on the controversial testing program CMS launched during the past school year. And last weekend the Observer ran New York Times columnist David Brooks' piece on why he thinks Diane Ravitch is wrong about testing.

Now Merrow, whose readers recently chose Ravitch as the most influential educator in America, fires back at Brooks and others. His blog post offers a summary of the issues and players, contending that "at stake in this struggle is nothing less than the direction of public education," and that today's public schools are the equivalent of yesterday's pony express.

It's probably worth noting, as journalists such as Merrow, Brooks and NBC's Brian Williams join the fray, that Eric Frazier and I are not opinion writers, even in the blog. Some posters have asked us to take a stand or voice more outrage. That's not what we do; we'll stick to providing readers the chance to explore various views and air their own.

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