Sunday, September 9, 2012

Greg Nepstad, Democrat, House District 20

These are all good questions worth discussing. I don't have many answers for you, but my thoughts in brief are 1. Fewer tests but no opt-outs. 2. Not sure these cuts are a problem. 3. "Lack of local control" is exaggerated. Local school boards have tons of latitude - yet few exercise any. The problem with parental say-so in school policies is that for every parent with a good idea there is another who is a lunatic. 4. I don't know. A much-debated topic nationally. 5. No. 6. No. 7. The only thing I like about No Child Left Behind is the name.
Thanks for the questionaire,
Greg Nepstad


LAB said...

This guy cracked me up. He should be on Twitter.

His only two iffy answers IMO were on #2 and #4, which are related questions. Fewer tests (which he supports) would mean less time "teaching to the test," which would result in more time for lunch/recess without extending the school day or year.

Chris said...

LAB -- Thanks for the comment! I'm all in favor of fewer tests, but I think it's not so much the amount but the high-stakes nature of the testing that is causing the problems.

If a school doesn't meet test score requirements, its teachers and administrators can ultimately lose their jobs, and the school itself can be closed. But if it cuts lunch and recess to the bare minimum, nothing bad will happen to it.

The incentive -- imposed by the legislature -- is to sacrifice all other values to the goal of raising test scores. That would be true even if there were fewer tests. That's what I don't hear any of the candidates grappling with.