Friday, April 20, 2012

How "Texas-style" Accountability Fails Latino Youth

Leaving Children Behind
How "Texas-style" Accountability Fails Latino Youth

 Leaving Children Behind
Summary - Click Here

"Argues for a more valid and democratic approach to assessment and accountability.

"The federal government has based much of its education policies on those adopted in Texas. This book examines how "Texas-style" accountability—the notion that decisions governing retention, promotion, and graduation should be based on a single test score—fails Latina/o youth and their communities. The contributors, many of them from Texas, scrutinize state policies concerning high-stakes testing and provide new data that demonstrate how Texas' current system of testing results in a plethora of new inequalities. They argue that Texas policies exacerbate historic inequities, fail to accommodate the needs and abilities of English language learners, and that the dramatic educational improvement attributed to Texas' system of accountability is itself questionable. The book proposes a more valid and democratic approach to assessment and accountability that would combine standardized examinations with multiple sources of information about a student's academic performance.

“The narrative lays bare the Texas-style, right-wing, conservative educational agenda that the authors contend exploits poor and minority communities and makes use of raw political power to accomplish its goals.” — CHOICE

"Leaving Children Behind
is a collection of mostly academic articles that takes a detailed look at the impact Texas’ accountability system is having on its Latino population. Rather than just relying on political arguments or broad critiques of Texas’ education policy, the contributors to Leaving Children Behind make use of thorough educational research to uncover just how bad things are for Latino students." Rethinking Schools

"With all of the emphasis on accountability and testing in our schools, too many of us have forgotten to ask what the real effects of such movements actually are. Leaving Children Behind is a powerful analysis of why such questions must be asked by anyone who cares about the relationship between current school reforms and the production of inequalities." — Michael W. Apple

"U.S. schools have been engaged in a gigantic effort to impose Texas-style test-driven reform on all U.S. schools. This book reports things are very different than they seem in Texas and helps explain the major problems in implementing President Bush's No Child Left Behind law. The richness of the contributions by major Latino scholars to this analysis should help us understand the tremendous need to diversify our faculties if we are to understand our changing society and its schools." — Gary Orfield

"Important and timely, this book reveals the 'real story' in Texas, which has become the model for the nation. There is much to be learned from this book about implementing federal policy based on the Texas model." — Patricia Gándara, coeditor of School Connections: U.S. Mexican Youth, Peers, and School Achievement

"The topic is of great importance, and it is covered from many different perspectives here, giving a rich picture of the situation." — María Estela Brisk, coauthor of Situational Context of Education: A Window into the World of Bilingual Learners

Contributors include Laura Alamillo, Ellen Riojas Clark, Belinda Bustos Flores, Eugene E. García, Elaine Hampton, Linda McSpadden McNeil, Raymond V. Padilla, Deborah Palmer, Kris Sloan, Richard R. Valencia, Angela Valenzuela, Jorge Ruiz de Velasco, Bruno J. Villarreal, and Celia Viramontes."

Angela Valenzuela is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.