|Jamie McKenzie, Ed.D. is the publisher of No Child Left and this Web site. A former teacher, principal and superintendent, he has been writing and speaking about healthy change and schools for several decades.
Jamie's first book, Making Change, was published in 1984, and since that time he has been a proponent of school-based change and an outspoken opponent of top-down reform efforts that treat schools like factories and children like products.
Beginning in the 1980s when test-driven school reform efforts were first imposed on schools in New Jersey, he has challenged the ethics and the wisdom of teaching to such tests, especially when the tests are narrow in focus and preoccupied with basic skills.
When state curriculum standards and their accompanying tests focus upon higher level thinking, problem-solving and decision-making without preoccupation with excessive content, Jamie has welcomed the accountability of such measures, but only when the states provide sufficient funding for the program and professional development required to produce a change in the daily practice of teachers.
High stakes testing by itself does not improve the lives of children and an undue emphasis on punishment, negative labels and threats can do great damage to schools and children. At the same time, experimentation with competitive, corporate management strategies is reckless and irresponsible.
We have seen the marvels of corporate excess during the past decade and need not impose them on schools.