Suggested reading

To give you an idea of how out of things I have been for the last few years, I had never read Educationalchemy until today.  But now that I have found it, I will be reading it regularly.

I got there today from another reading list at The Treehorn Express.  The article I went to read was The Education Revolution will Not Be Standardized: The “Moral Imperative” of Testing Refusal.

The article presents a very strong argument.  It starts:

Let me start by suggesting something key that has not been articulated widely enough: All standardized testing is high stakes testing. If there were no stakes involved, why would corporate reformers and testing companies lobby tooth and nail to ensure standardized tests remain a central cornerstone of all education policies? At stake are billions of dollars for testing and data mining companies. The collection, ownership, and (mis)use of private student data is at stake. The future of students who are denied meaningful quality education in lieu of skill-drill and kill instruction is at stake. The use of testing data to assume the “value” of children according to race, culture, language and class is at stake.

I especially like that second sentence:

If there were no stakes involved, why would corporate reformers and testing companies lobby tooth and nail to ensure standardized tests remain a central cornerstone of all education policies?

Why, indeed?

The author then goes on to say:

Ending testing is the not the goal of the revolution -it’s the key strategy for making revolution possible. To the mainstream media who distort the narrative to our testing refusal critics we must make clear: We are not “anti-testing” because we wish to shield our children from “difficult tasks” (though evidence that standardized testing causes unreasonable anxiety and emotional problems for children is well-documented and is worthy of serious address), nor are we are we afraid of evaluating teacher performance. We refuse the tests to deny them the data that makes the destruction of public education possible. Standardized testing costs monies that otherwise could be spent on libraries, counselors, and programs (or how about even food?). Standardized testing is directly connected with higher drop-out rates, behavioral and emotional distresses and the subsequent school-to-prison pipeline. Its tentacles directly and indirectly correlate with many other service sector neoliberal policies that are simultaneously dehumanizing us, disenfranchising our communities, and profiting the billionaire private sector monopolies.

The entire post is quite interesting, and I encourage you to check it out.

It took me a while to find out who writes the blog, but it turns out it is a professor of education.  She has credentials.  And it seems to me she knows what she is talking about.

On the blog are links to a presentation on what led up to the Common Core Standards and another one on Standardized Testing.  Check them out if you are even remotely interested in what is happening in our schools.

The author refers to a book by Chris Hedges called Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.  It looks like it would be worth a read, too.

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