Carrying the mantle of unimpeachable newsman Jim Lehrer, PBS NewsHour carries a reputation for impartial journalism. But after the
Success Academy kerfuffle earlier this week, it was disappointing to see Gwen Ifill glorify opt-out champion Jesse Hagopian, without noting that he flouts the voices of civil rights leaders in their support the statewide annual tests that identify achievement gaps for poor and minority and special needs children. It's also disappointing to see Ifill perpetuate the rampant myths about Common Core and the related assessments. Will Ragland, from the Center for American Progress,
does a thorough job of myth-busting the NewsHour segment, but it’s worth also highlighting briefly here on our Red Pen Page:
Jesse Hagopian: Studies have shown that kids will take some
113 standardized tests now in their K-12 career. It’s just become completely over the top. It’s become a multibillion-dollar industry to sell exams to children in order to rank and sort them. And it’s become really a test-and-punish model.
Gwen Ifill: The
tests are part of the Common Core standards adopted by 24 states and the District of Columbia to improve student achievement and teacher performance.