When I was in the academic training business in USAF pilot training we learned about course design and evaluation. We were in the business of "training" which should be distinct from "education."
What's the difference? I like to describe it as the difference between K-12 and college. Children in K-12 are being trained. We like to call it education, but the fact is that they are being trained to a basic standard of performance. Adding, subtracting, writing, and reading are skills to be learned. You can't go much beyond proficiency in the skill. You train to saw a board or hammer a nail. You can't become a more technical board sawyer or nail-pounder. You either can or you can't. You can either do arithmetic, read a book, write a paragraph in standard English, or you can't. That's the essential of training.
Colleges are the doorway to learning. You go to a college/university and the way to more information is opened to you. You may pass or fail the course, but how much you come away with after the exposure is up to you. There is no limit to education.
In pilot training it was training. We learned about standardized education. The basics are that you determine what is to be trained, then establish a standard of satisfactory performance and finally evaluate whether the trainee can meet the standard. It is important to have objective standards and quantifiable measurements. This is exactly what K-12 education is supposed to do.
Let's take basic addition for example. You might establish an objective as, "Student will be able to add a column of six or more four-digit numbers." The standard might be, "90% of students will be able to find correct answer 90% of the time." Now you create an examination of several addition problems to evaluate your objective.
How can you argue with that?
Lot of folks do, don't they? How many times have you heard the gripes about "teaching to the test"? Ever heard the one about, "teachers are forced to prepare students for the state test and don't have time to teach the important stuff"? Or maybe, "my child can't take the pressure of having to perform on exams"?
Isn't life a continual exam? Isn't your job a constant measure of your training? If you've established meaningful objectives and a standard for measuring achievement the essential job of a teacher IS teaching to the test.
How about this tidbit from Atlanta:
Cheating Party Saturday Night at My House!
Notice the bleating from the unions about "fairness"? Is it fair to the children who don't get educated?
But, not to be outdone by the modern metropolitan system of Atlanta, the Dallas suburb of Desoto is now dealing with this:
Sole Finalist for Super Fails First Day
That's right, folks. No one was in the final round of competition she was so impressive in the interview. They hired her without a glance at the smell of the news coming out of Atlanta.
She was the number two (no pun intended) in the Atlanta school system. She had to have been a part of it. Yet the Desoto ISD Board of Education can't deal with the simple termination for cause that seems indicated here. She is hired. She reports. She goes on PAID leave. And they can't figure out what to do.