End Testing Obsession- Criminal Diversion of Time and Money
I recently saw a quote from an education official in Europe. His nation has strong unions and students take few standardized tests. When told of the high rank his nation had on international tests he noted that he really did not care as it was not important. This fellow had it right. Why are we obsessed with testing and the need to measure things by spending billions a year? Teachers can easily handle this task for a lot less money and get more reliable results targeted to THEIR students. Outside of NAEP I do not see the need for any standardized testing that crushes the school year and diverts precious time and money to the educational testing complex.
Part of the false narrative out there is that standardized test scores actually matter. They are not connected to civil rights and they have nothing to do with the economy or national security. Those who make claims that they are- are guilty of a hyperbolic jingoism that smacks or arrogance and a disregard for evidence. We need to divorce ourselves from a testing obsession that will only get worse with common core. In many states, teachers cannot even make final exams. You guessed it! Testing companies get millions to create and score these tests. In Florida- one of these exams took 8 days to give as schools and instruction was shut down to rush kids into computer labs. These Florida tests take about 8 days, and there are several. Florida might be ground zero for testing madness. Kids will take anywhere from 45-70 tests this year and most of those tests are over multiple days.
I am urging all parents and students to opt out of any tests they do not want to take. This would include the “diagnostic tests” that take up several days and are totally WORTHLESS. Teachers have no say over testing and have become proctors.
How long will we let them kick us in the teeth? There is big money to be made so don’t think things will change unless we take real action.