Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On testing...

Interesting excerpt from an article at edweek:

(written by a chinese scholar, it is interesting):

American policymakers, he says, are drawing the wrong lessons from the growing economic might of nations like China—and becoming overly enamored with high-stakes testing, to our peril.

"Clearly, American education has been moving toward authoritarianism," he writes, "letting the government dictate what and how students should learn and what schools should teach. This movement has been fueled mostly through fear—fear of threats from the Soviets, the Germans, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, and the Indians. The public, as any animal under threat would, has sought and accepted the action of a protector—the government."

Does anyone else feel as if this is a slow moving train wreck that you can't help but watch?


  1. Prior to reading this I read this post by Mike Parent. His post takes a similar point of view to yours. In addition he frames the viral video "Shift Happens" in an interesting light.

  2. Thanks for the link to the post. I specifically like the ending he leaves:

    "As a principal, I now have the opportunity to provide an answer if and when a new administrator asks me, "Why are we becoming so obsessed chasing after test scores and rankings?" And, sadly, I will tell them that indeed, they are the tail that wags the dog. And it's not that we want it that way - it's that at the school level, we are recipients of state and federal powers that fail to see our schools as sacred homes for learning, sharing, and studying in order to create a more charitable, knowledgeable, learned, reflective society that honors values. Instead, we are directed and pressured to spoil our time with vain efforts of gaining favor and avoiding public shame by chasing numbers and making the mark in various think tank, agency, and global reports in hopes that we may be more productive. When that changes then I will believe that a shift has happened."