Standardized testing.

Author:Vogt, Leonard
Position::News for Educational Workers

"High Stakes Rebellion" (The Nation, May 27, 2013) explains that ever since the test-driven mentality of No Child Left Behind took over, protesting parents and educators have not been heard ... until now, and for a very interesting reason: a cheating scandal in Atlanta, where 35 teachers, administrators, and even a former superintendent changed students' test scores. This act of desperation emboldened anti-testing rebellion across the country. In Texas, the birthplace of the testing movement, legislation reduced the number of tests required for graduation from 15 to 5. In New York, new tests based on new national standards have caused so many complaints that some parents are instructing their children not to take the tests.

An anti-testing op-ed piece in Time Magazine (April 2, 2013) reported, "One of the biggest ironies of the Atlanta public schools testing scandal ... is that the faked scores prevented some schools from accessing three quarters of a million dollars in federal money to support struggling learners because they no longer qualified for help. The impact on individual children was devastating." The piece goes on to say, "Even if we eliminate the cheating, what remains is a broken system built on the dangerous misconception that testing is a proxy for actual teaching and learning."

Cheating on standardized test, however, is nothing new. In the past four academic years, cheating on test score results has been confirmed in 37 states and Washington, D. C. (Answer sheet blog, The Washington Post, April 1, 2013).

Cheating on test scores is perhaps one form of rebellion, but the Seattle school teachers took a much more positive step and took the forefront in the movement against testing by boycotting the standardized tests used in the city's schools. The entire...

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