The Atlantic: How Education Policy Went Astray

Julian E. Zelizer of The Atlantic comments on how education policy has struggled in the last five decades, with a specific focus on the emphasis on testing over school funding:

Despite the hundreds of millions of federal dollars spent, the widespread challenges faced by children from low-income families in America remain extraordinarily difficult to tackle as they continue to struggle with vastly inadequate educational opportunities. Schools remain underfunded and poorly staffed. The quality of education is often poor, and their teachers are typically overburdened as they deal with the broader range of environmental factors that take a toll on student achievement. Since 2001, the government’s tendency toward focusing on the creation of national standards to measure school achievement, rather than the provision of resources, has also had negative consequences. The high-school dropout rate for children from lower-income families is much higher than it is for wealthier students. In 2012, The New York Times reported that since the 1960s the gap in standardized test scores between kids from lower- and higher-income families had risen by 40 percent.


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