The Reformy Creed
With proper standards alignment, it should not make any difference whether a student learned math in Tennessee or Kentucky.
If the teacher is doing a proper job, it should not make any difference whether a student comes from a privileged, enriched background or a poor one.
If a school has implemented a good teacher-proof program (like engageNY), it should not make any difference whether a student has an experienced teacher or a brand new one or a non-teacher with five weeks of training.
If the students have been exposed to the proper educational training, it should not make any difference whether they are developmentally disabled or not.
And if they are developmentally disabled, it should not make any difference in how The Test is given.
If the teacher is properly following the script, it should not make any difference which particular students are in the class.
In fact, if the teacher is properly following the script, it should not make any difference how many students are in the class.
If there is one thing that people are motivated by, dream of, long for, strive in pursuit of, cherish, relish, desire more than even an ice cream sundae with a cherry on type it is this--
To make a difference.
People want to know that they matter, that their presence in every situation made a difference. Kafka's Metamorphosis (a non-informational text) resonates with horror because it speaks to one of a person's deepest fears-- that he will pass through life making so little difference that he might as well have been a bug.
The Reformy movement (aka The Status Quo Formerly Known As Reform) is Kafkaesque and dehumanizing because precisely because its dream, its goal, is an education system in which no individual makes any difference at all. Any student, any teacher, should make no more difference to The System than any other.
The Reformy Ideal is a human nightmare-- a system where anyone could take your place and nobody else would notice. It's not that your individual needs, strengths, weaknesses, personality or spirit are erased-- this is a system that renders all these elements so unimportant that erasing them isn't even necessary.
Every human being has a right-- in fact, an obligation-- to make a difference. The Reformy Ideal is not just a bad way to run a school system-- it's a bad way to treat other human beings.