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Our Failure to Take a Stand Against Standardized Tests

Posted By: Judith Yero on July 15, 2016
 
I so often see that same comment that, because people expect to get their money's worth, they insist on standardized tests and ways to "compare" children. What purpose does that comparison serve except to strengthen the class system? Why are we so complacent about giving in to people who expect quantitative assessments that they have been brainwashed into believing give them "meaningful" information when qualitative assessments of individual learning are so much more authentic and informative?

Go back to Frederick Taylor and Edward Thorndike and read WHY they insisted on standardizing everything. Is that really what we want for today's children? Standardized tests do not assess learning. They assess recall and recognition...the lowest type of learning. The only correlation with scores on those tests is the relative affluence of families. So the tests reinforce the so-called "achievement gap" by constantly showing that it is true, when indeed, the gap is in the opportunities that children have to develop their brains during the early years. But instead of pointing out that these tests are invalid and based on faulty premises, teachers continue to cave to the pressure. Is that in the best interest of children? And if not, how can teachers continue to live with themselves?

I recommend that every teacher read Todd Rose's book "The End of Average" to better understand how damaging standards and standardized tests are.

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 Our Failure to Take a Stand Against Standardized Tests by Judith Yero on July 15, 2016
     
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