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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Was There Really Life Before Tests?

As test-based accountability expands, the development of creative thought, individual initiative and well-rounded individuals declines.  

What kinds of minds are we raising?  People must bubble all the right answers at any cost-or click it, lest they be labeled by reformers who have no compunction about branding a generation of children (minus their own) as failures.  

What kind of people do the reformers want?  Since they are self-declared reformers, entirely pleased with their brainy ideas, they would like nothing better than a cadre of administrators who follow orders unquestioningly. Successful teachers will test prep to the tune of their dictates with all the loyalty of an automaton.  

Teachers cannot be trusted to craft their own lessons, or so says "Success." Teachers can hardly be trusted to craft their own tests any more.  What if their questions don't mimic closely enough those of the almighty testing gods.  Teachers cannot be trusted to score their own students.  Administrators must echo this tune.  To act differently would show too much independence of thought and we, of course, can't have that in academia.  Students' and teachers' lives must be circumscribed by test and test prep.  Was there really life before high-stakes tests?

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