Saturday, February 03, 2007

Gibson and Ross on standardized testing

At CounterPunch a thorough, devastating critique of No Child Left Behind. You may decide which of the following might also apply in the Korean context:

Here is what we think is a reasonable litany of objections to the NCLB, its national curriculum, and the attached noose, high stakes exams.

  • High-stakes standardized tests, an international phenomenon, represent a powerful intrusion into classrooms, often taking up as much as 40% of classroom time in preparation, practice testing, and administration;

  • The tests are flawed in technical adequacy. They invoke a fallible single standard and a single measure, a practice specifically condemned by the Standards on Educational and Psychological Testing;

  • The tests are implemented and used to make high stakes decisions before sufficient validation evidence is obtained and before defensible technical documentation is issued for public scrutiny;

  • The tests are employed without credible independent meta-evaluation;

  • The tests are flawed in accuracy of scoring and reporting, for example in New York in 2000 when thousands of students were unnecessarily ordered to summer school on the grounds of incorrect test results;

  • The tests pretend that one standard fits all, when one standard does not fit all;

  • These tests measure, for the most part, parental income and race, and are therefore instruments that build racism and anti-working class sentiment against the interest of most teachers and their students;

  • These tests deepen the segregation of children within and between school systems, a move that is not in the interests of most people throughout the world;

  • Inner-city families and poor families are promised tests as an avenue to escape the ghetto and poverty, when the tests are designed to fail their children, boosting dropouts, leaving more children trapped in the ghetto and poverty, deepening inequality and all forms of injustice;

  • The tests set up a false employer-employees relationship between teachers and students which damages honest exchanges in the classroom;

  • The tests create an atmosphere that pits students against students and teachers against teachers and school systems against school systems in a mad scramble for financial rewards, and to avoid financial retribution;

  • The tests have been used to unjustly fire and discipline educators throughout the country;

  • The exams represent an assault on academic freedom by forcing their way into the classroom in an attempt to regulate knowledge, what is known and how people come to know it;

  • The tests foment an atmosphere of greed, fear, and hysteria, none of which contributes to learning;

  • The tests destroy inclusion and inquiry-based education;

  • The high-stakes test pretend to neutrality but are deeply partisan in content, reflecting the needs of elites in a world becoming more inequitable, less democratic, promising the youth of the world perpetual war;

  • The tests become commodities for opportunists whose interests are profits, not the best interests of children.

    Most applicable, I'd say.
  • 1 comment:

    sam59527 said...