Discussion: Bizarro World: I Heart Standardized Tests...And Republicans Don't?

Discussion for article #232355

And the GOP/Teatroll war on creating an educated and informed voting populace continues unabated…

“We have 50 states, so it just stands to reason that one of the states, no matter what, will be 50th in educational attainment. We aim to be that state.”


Pretty much everyone I know who works in education (which is a lot of people, since I work in education) opposes standardized testing. They may not oppose assessment, but there is no love for standardized testing which pretty much everyone agrees is a poor assessment.

The exceptions, incidentally, work for testing companies.


I work in education, though I also did do a short stint for NCS Pearson’s testing division. So I have seen both sides. And I can tell you, from this liberals point of view, standardized testing as it is done in NCLB has very little value, and is probably actually hurting education. Like you, I have been in education for a long time, and I have only met a small handful of educators who support standardized tests. I can probably count them on one hand.

If a writer had actually had a decent education, they would probably be aware that when you’re not using a heart symbol you can write out “I love X” instead of “I heart X”, and thereby not look like an ignoramus.

If you’ve ever read anything this guy has written here or elsewhere you might remember his ridiculous defense of Campbell Brown. The writer is a booster for the Charter School industry. He’s all about privatization. And he hates having to read the comment sections on his own work. Tells you a lot right there imo. I’ve read the three or so things he’s written here at TPM and I don’t think I’ve agreed with his take on anything so far.

Interesting how the author’s link to “most liberals” goes to a single column. The writer of that column may or may not be liberal, but they are certainly employed by an organization that embraces charter schools and vouchers, and seem to get funding from a number of conservative organizations.

I’m curious if the author, or most advocates of standardized testing, are aware of how much time is spent on testing and test-prep in today’s public schools. This isn’t about a single day out of the year. This is multiple tests, four or five times a year, that each take a week out of the school year for testing, and another week for preparing the students. That’s far too much time spent on collecting these particular data points.

As for the author’s assertion that even flawed data is worth having, I have to disagree. Testing data reinforces what we already knew about failing schools and unprepared students. Yes, data is needed, but weeks worth of standardized tests are not the right way to collect it. All this effort spent on interpreting and preparing for these tests should be going into figuring out ways to collect good data. Collecting more and more bad data is counterproductive.