Friday, October 28, 2016

The Main Reason Standardized Curriculum, Teaching and Testing Must be Shown the Door

Yet, we still base student learning and school success on a proven faulty, test-based system. Why?
Researchers, statisticians, and academics of every stripe have called for an end to high stakes testing in education policy. Parents, students and teachers have written letters, testified before congressional committees, protested in the streets, even refused to take or give the tests. All to deaf ears. 
The federal government still requires all students in 3-8th grade and once in high school to take standardized tests. 
But these assessments are graded on a curve. A certain amount of students are at the bottom, a certain amount are at the top, and most are clustered in the middle. This would be true if you were testing all geniuses or all people with traumatic brain injuries. 
It doesn’t matter how smart your test takers are. There will always be this bell curve distribution. That’s how the tests are designed. So to talk about raising test scores is nonsensical. You can raise scores at school A or School B, but the total set of all test takers will always be the same. And some students will always fail.
But that isn’t even the worst part.
Read more at:

If you want to open your eyes and learn more about the inequity of racism and its impact on public school funding and education in general, I highly recommend you hunker down this weekend and read  FERTILIZERS, PILLS AND & MAGNETIC STRIPS: THE FA'l'E OF PUBLIC EDUCA'l'ION IN AMERICA by Gene Glass, 2008.  It's available for the Kindle which means you can start reading right away.
Glass shows how the central education policy debates at the start of the 21st century (vouchers, charter schools, tax credits, high-stakes testing, bilingual education) are actually about two underlying issues: how can the costs of public education be cut, and how can the education of the White middle-class be "quasi-privatized" at public expense? Working from the demographic realities of the past thirty years, he projects a challenging and disturbing future for public education in America. - Retrieved from
 In his longest chapter (10), Glass documents how current reform efforts (i.e., vouchers, charter schools, and tuition tax credits) systematically discriminate against minorities, while US schools are more segregated than before Brown v. Board of Education. He also challenges the view that schools are "failing," and summarizes critiques of high-stakes, standardized testing. Glass's historical perspective and his review of evidence supporting his position are impressive. He rejects simple solutions to public education's endemic problems, but hopes that in the long run Americans' love of justice will prevail over the selfish interests of the graying, currently dominant majority. ~ G. E. Hein emeritus, Lesley University