Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing


reviewed by Arthur Costigan - February 27, 2006

coverTitle: Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing
Author(s): Richard P. Phelps
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 1412805120, Pages: 331, Year: 2005
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Richard Phelps is at war.  He intends to take no prisoners.  The enemy is the “radical constructivists” (p. 25) at schools of education who are “co-opted adherents to the status quo” (p. 3).  These favor student-centered learning, authentic assessment, and all the apparatus of the progressive tradition.  They express outrage at any use of such traditional instruction methods as teacher lectures, memorization, review, drills and most structured forms of instruction” (p. 25). Rather than dedicate themselves to teaching the skills and facts necessary for student success, these professional educators are erroneously “enamored with the idea of naturalness in education,” (p. 283).  They not only deny, but actively silence, a pro-testing educational stance which defines learning as making students accumulate facts, exercise skills, and get high enough scores to gain access to increased financial power and social status. Phelps speaks of being ignored, censored, or given the “cold shoulder” (p. 5) by... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 27, 2006
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12337, Date Accessed: 1/16/2021 4:09:05 AM

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