“When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids,” by Marion Brady

Marion Brady wrote a wonderful piece for a Washington Post blog a couple of days ago, which I found out about thanks to Susan Ohanian’s very informative site. A very successful member of American society, with two master’s degrees, who is also a member of a school board, decided to take his state’s standardized tests in math and English (a version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test; state law only allows students to take the test) that are forced on Grade 10 students. (The school board member, Rick Roach, was not identified in the original piece, but he identified himself the following day.) He didn’t do very well, which is the point. If a highly educated, highly successful member of society scores poorly on these odious standardized tests, why are we crushing the spirit of students and making bogus arguments about the connection between student performance on these tests and teacher quality?

Brady goes on to state that over 600 New York state school principals have signed a letter protesting the use of test scores to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals.

Kaplan runs one of the highest-achieving schools in the state, but is required to attend 10 training sessions. “It’s education by humiliation,” Kaplan said. “I’ve never seen teachers and principals so degraded.”

Carol Burris, named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, has to attend those 10 training sessions. Katie Zahedi, another principal, said the session she attended was “two days of total nonsense. I have a Ph.D., I’m in a school every day, and some consultant is supposed to be teaching me to do evaluations.”

Cui bono? Not students. Not teachers. Not citizens, who are footing the bill. Ah, but the corporations involved in creating and grading the tests are making a lot of money. The people pushing this sort of nonsense are rich and powerful, but have no credentials in education.

(This post first appeared at my other (now deleted) blog, and was transferred to this blog on 21 January 2021.)