Sunday, February 15, 2015

Standardized Tests: The Modern-Day Immortal Beloved

An Unfortunate Victim of Brainwashing 
I once thought I alone saw the beauty in standardized tests.   I wandered the world as a pariah with a #2 pencil.  But, now, following the most recent UFT delegate assembly, I know I am not alone.   Teachers cry out for tests to "drive" their instruction.  Parents, unabashedly, promote their merits.  Standardized tests are not only poetry of the printed page, they are necessary to human survival.

1.  Where would we be without a testing industrial complex?  Tests can fuel the economy forward, creating countless jobs for people who cannot be bothered to dedicate their lives to actually helping kids in a classroom.

2.  Why would we want to fund things like music when we can funnel tax dollars towards testing?  Testing creates beautiful silence.  Music is just more noise.

3.  If not for testing and the prep it engenders, kids might not come to school every day.  They certainly would not come with smiles on their faces.

4.  If kids get anxious or sick taking tests, we need to know.  These kids need to be weeded out by elementary school.  They weaken the race (to the top).  Don't even ask about the ones who fail!

5.  Teachers are not to be trusted.  Just because they have advanced degrees, it doesn't mean they know how to assess children on their own.  They need the helping hand of Pearson with its deep pockets.

6.  Since child abuse is illegal, let state testing take its place.  How else can you put children in their place?  We don't want over-inflated egos walking around, thinking they're somebodies.  Good thing we have the likes of Arne Duncan to slam dunk that one.

7.  Parents want standardized tests.  Mulgrew said so at the D.A.  How does he know?  He just knows.  Possibly he asked Michelle Rhee.  She is a parent.

9.  We need tests because without them, teachers wouldn't know what to teach.  Sterling Roberson, UFT VP for Career and Technical Education, said so.  Since he taught CTE classes, including electronics, he directly knows the importance of standardized tests.  How else could he tell whether or not students understood electronics?  How would anyone ever know if students understand automotive repair, the electrical trade, etc., unless you equip them with #2 pencils and sit them down with standardized tests?

10.  We are our test scores.  I'm guessing, given their fondness for standardized tests, UFT-Unity leaders gained their superior status due to exemplary standardized test scores.  And, given that superiority in this era of the Common Core, we best accept everything they say on faith.

So, love those tests.  Just don't expect them to love you back!
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