My colleague, Dr. David Boers, one of the higher education champions of at-risk kids, and I were dejectedly discussing the meteoric rise of the high-stakes testing insanity and the quickly receding hope and despite the obvious need for increasing child-centered education in our public schools. In other words, resources that kids desperately need in present day public education are diminishing while expenditures for things useless for child growth and development—such as high-stakes testing—are increasing. The “We really care about children!” banner-talk by Congress is more and more unrelated to what teachers in the field and pragmatic educational experts such as David, Douglass Reeves, Jerry Conrath, David Berliner, Grant Wiggington, Jonathan Kozol, and Alfie Kohn, are saying is truly needed. It is a sad day when political posturing and profiteering testing companies take precedence over our kids’ needs.”
“Hmmm,” I responded, “That must be why Educational Testing Service had seven lobbyists in Tallahassee year before last and they are only one. I think Houghton, CTB McGraw-Hill, and Pearson may be larger.”
“I understand that just the scoring of high-stakes testing alone has turned into a multi-BILLION dollar industry in and of itself,” David said.
Obviously, I am way too cynical and need to trust the good faith of the testing industry, who are only interested in doing what's right for kids. And what's right for kids is to take a lot of high-stakes standardized tests and have the pressure of their teachers' livelihoods and their schools' continued existence loaded on their backs.“That’s what I heard,” I said. “Good thing we don’t need all that money somewhere else.” [emphasis mine]
Because it's all about the children! And if the testing companies make a profit... well, that's only just a happy coincidence!