One of the Best Articles You Will Ever Read About Standardized Testing

By dianeravitch

When I read this post by Steven Singer, I was so excited that I thought about devoting an entire day to it. Like posting it and posting nothing else for the entire day. Or posting this piece over and over all day to make sure you read it. It is that important.

Steven’s post explains two different phenomena. First, why is standardized testing so ubiquitous? What does it have a death grip on public education?

Second, in the late 1990s, when I was often in D.C., I noticed that the big testing companies had ever-present lobbyists to represent their interests. Why? Wasn’t the adoption of tests a state and local matter? NCLB changed all that, Race to the Top made testing even more consequential, and the new ESSA keeps up the mandate to test every child every year from grades 3-8. No other country does this? Why do we?

He begins like this:


“It’s easy to do business when the customer is forced to buy.

“But is it fair, is it just, or does it create a situation where people are coerced into purchases they wouldn’t make if they had a say in the matter?

“For example, school children as young as 8-years-old are forced to take a battery of standardized tests in public schools. Would educators prescribe such assessments if it were up to them? Would parents demand children be treated this way if they were consulted? Or is this just a corporate scam perpetrated by our government for the sole benefit of a particular industry that funnels a portion of the profits to our lawmakers as political donations?

“Let’s look at it economically.

“Say you sold widgets – you know, those hypothetical doodads we use whenever we want to talk about selling something without importing the emotional baggage of a particular product.

“You …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core