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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Standardized Testing Is Still Bullshit

May 29th, 2012

Not only is it of dubious value, it's also an increasingly transparent racket.
Via HuffPo:
"A memo has recently surfaced in which the New York State Department of Education appears to encourage educators to mislead students about upcoming standardized field tests meant to "provide the data necessary to ensure the validity and reliability of the New York State Testing program."
"Students should not be informed of the connection between these field tests and State assessments," the memo reads. "The field tests should be described as brief tests of achievement in the subject."
This is big business. The tests referred to in the memo are marketed by a company called Pearson PLC and are worth millions and millions of dollars. This is the same company behind the now infamous "pineapple" question. Under fire recently for that and "nearly 30 errors in last month's English and math exams," Pearson appears to have engineered new rounds of testing for their own benefit. 

Rather than tailor their materials to the needs of the classroom, they have spent incredible amounts of money to influence curricula in order to make the production of their for-profit product easier. They also have a history of demanding secrecy regarding test contents so that parents have little idea what is in them.

The revelation of this memo appears to show children treated as consumers while being forced to engage in market research masquerading as education. 

It's bullshit of the lowest order.

1 comment:

  1. Racket is exactly what it is. As an educator for over twenty years, I've seen how so many people are using our children and adults to make a lot of money under the disguise of "education." Love your use of the word "dubious" as in dubious value. The value all goes to the Pearsons' of the world, including the administrators who are in on the whole scam. I know that most of these people involved actually beleive they are "helping" students, because that is what their paychecks tell them to believe.