“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate!”

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate!”

“Wagner was echoing his boss, Chancellor Merryl Tisch. Last month she remarked:

We need to do a great job communicating why these new test scores that we’ve just seen are not an indicator that there’s been no learning or teaching going on.

It is all seen as just a failure to communicate. And therein lies the problem.  The focus on communication, rather than on a response to concerns, demonstrates a lack of faith in the ability of parents and teachers to understand what is occurring. Parents understand the high-stakes testing rationale.  They just don’t buy it.  The interpretation of grassroots parental opposition as a “communication failure” communicates arrogance.  It is the ultimate “nanny state” response—you do not understand what we know, and what we know and do are best for you.”

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