Saving Professor Ryan

Kevin Carey (a.k.a. Mr. Quick) is less enamored with Jim Ryan's suggestions for fixing NCLB than I was (see here). Carey complains that Ryan "fails to notice that his proposed solutions completely contradict one another" because, on the one hand, he wants to eliminate annual testing, while on the other hand, he wants to include measures of student progress from year to year???which requires annual testing.

This is, to use a bloggy cliche, a classic "and a pony" policy agenda. NCLB can be improved, no doubt, but the people who wrote it weren't morons; there are some very real and difficult tradeoffs to contend with in formulating accountability policy, and one of them is the tension between the costs and burdens of assessment and the need for comprehensive information.

Fair point, Kevin. But you have to admit... his proposal for national testing???no matter how frequent???is downright brilliant.

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