A warning to those countries (like NZ) that are getting ever more enamoured with the idea of testing.
The Network for Public Education (NPE)’s first National Conference closed with a call for Congressional hearings to investigate the over-emphasis, misapplication, costs, and poor implementation of high-stakes standardized testing.
Two of the eleven areas the NPE has asked to be looked into are:
Testing worldwide has always been part of schooling, and was primarily an in-house, in-class affair that is done, reviewed and acted on by the teacher under the guidance of their team and principal so that the teacher knew what to help the students learn next and students knew where they were at and where they were going. Surely those two things are by far the most important reasons for testing?
As global reforms have taken hold of education, testing has become a stick with which to politically beat schools, teachers. communities, and students. The system has been taken down the wrong path under extreme pressure from the likes of Pearson, Gates, the Wal-Mart clan, Murdoch, Arne Duncan and other reformers. It’s no understantement to say in some countries, such as the USA and Australia, the tests themselves are less about education and more a political and money-making tool.
The Network for Public Education (NPE) states:
“True intelligence in the 21st century depends on creativity and problem-solving, and this cannot be packaged into a test.
We need to invest in classrooms, in making sure teachers have the small class sizes, resources, and support they need to succeed.
We need to stop wasting time and money in the pursuit of test scores.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Take note New Zealand.
Sources and further reading:
Next time you hear someone moaning about public school teachers or the education system in general, take a minute to ponder who exactly is behind those words and what they might have to gain from them.
Because when we have huge media giants in charge of our TV news and our newspapers, our online information, and our publishing companies, and those same moguls have a fist in the education money pot, it’s safe to say they are not unbiased. Quite the contrary.
Murdoch, Gates, Fox News, Pearson Publishing … these are not reliable sources of information about education.
“Here is the key issue. These companies see success in terms of dollars and profit, not academic success and achievement. Education start-ups fail all the time, including ones backed by the giants like Pearson. Once investors start to see diminishing returns or trouble on the horizon they will pull the plug regardless of how well students may be performing with their product. Vetting new teaching methods for success takes years of research, observation and review. ” Source
Who is saying this?
Why would they say it?
Are they qualified to speak on this issue?
Do they have anything to gain?
I recently wrote about Bill Gates’ and Rupert Murdoch’s companies collecting huge rafts of student data, querying first of all why they want the data, second, what are they doing with it, and third, why is it being handed over without parental (or student) consent?
In fact it’s handed over even when permission is expressly denied by parents…
Then I see this:
and I note that Bill Gates has been fond of handing over people’s data willy nilly for a long time. In fact he was the first, in 2007, to sign up to PRISM and allow the US government access to all data passing through Microsoft systems.
That’s your emails, your files, by the way.
Orwell did warn us.
As Winston said:
they will never rebel,
and until after they have rebelled
they cannot become conscious.
Is it time to wake up yet?