I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Testing For $$$

Why are we so testing crazed these days?
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. 
“That’s what I heard,” I said. “Good thing we don’t need all that money somewhere else.” [emphasis mine]
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.

Because it's all about the children! And if the testing companies make a profit... well, that's only just a happy coincidence!


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I discovered your blog yesterday thanks to the videos you posted on you tube of the march in D.C. I was unable to go and did not see any news coverage of it at all, which may have been because of the debt crisis, but who knows? Thank you for everything you are doing and keep fighting the "good fight." Knowledge is power and your hard work on this blog shows. I will be sharing it with all my colleagues to be sure.

Duke said...

My friend, you just made my week. Many, many thanks. And thanks for being a teacher.