Here is a guest commentary from the Orlando Sentinel. Similar to the article discussed in the post below, the author compares amateur knowledge with expert knowledge, but this time about education in general not just about tests.
"...After the publication of A Nation At Risk in 1983, business leaders decided that education was too important to be left to professional educators. So they used their political clout not to help professional educators, but to shove them aside and take over... Many amateurs think this is a wonderful, long-overdue policy. Indeed, it seems to make so much sense that teachers who question it are likely to be viewed with suspicion. Good teachers, many believe (those deserving to be called professionals) constantly "raise the bar." Good teachers welcome being held accountable. Good teachers aren't overly concerned with students' self-concepts. Good teachers raise test scores.
Professionals know it isn't that simple...Take the matter of grade retention. Professionals know that "grade level" is an invented, arbitrary idea left over from the school-as-factory era, know that academic gains from grade retention are almost always temporary, know that kids mature at different rates, know that individual differences are America's greatest intellectual asset, know grade repeaters rarely graduate, know we've created no alternative career paths for "non-standard" kids, know that helping helps a lot more when kids don't think they're stupid. And they know this just begins the list of complex issues being ignored by grade-retention legislation.
If the fog of political rhetoric ever lifts and the true state of education in America becomes clear, don't blame the professionals for the chaos. Their opinions have been ignored for years."
Here's a page of columns from the Center for the Study of Jobs & Education in Wisconsin and United States. by Dennis W. Redovich, retired Director of Research, Planning and Development from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. An educator for more than 28 years. His writings mostly center on Continuing Fallacious Belittling of American Public Schools "...The writer has been reading newspaper articles and commentaries or reports that claim that American K-12 public schools are failing and that public schools of the “past” were superior to current public schools since the1960s. The specific time period when schools were better (the 40s, 50s, 60s 70s etc.) or the valid factual data that proves them better are never stated. The continuing fallacious total belittling of American K-12 public schools in 2005, without any exceptions, is unbelievable...The great numbers of high paying jobs of the future that are claimed to require college graduation and high academic skills for all high school students are a hoax. The majority of the jobs of the future in Wisconsin and the United States are low or average paying jobs that require short term or moderate-term on the job training and do not require high-level academic skills in any academic areas, particularly in higher mathematics...The war against public education in the United States is being callously waged, using useless high stakes standardized tests as weapons, by the Bush Administration. And now the opponents of public education have targeted vocational education and the Perkins Act for vocational education for devastation. It is unbelievable and appalling because there is absolutely no rational reason for national high stakes academic testing for vocational or K-12 public education in the United States... " and lot's more about the current attacks on public education in the U.S.