Sunday, January 23, 2011


Why is it that someone who opposes standardized testing is seen largely as a troublemaker?

Unless teachers are afforded the opportunity to influence the ways education is administered and managed without being labelled as subversive, the whole education system will continue to be reformed in ways that contradict both common sense and research.


  1. Not just a trouble-maker, but also a loafer and a loser. People assume that since I am against grades, rewards, punishments, points, or tests, I am lazy and I don't know how to teach. It doesn't matter that my kids ace the test. It doesn't matter that I often work eleven hour days and put in some work on Saturday morning.

  2. I have been watching videos related to the Bartleby Project... As a dance teacher I am in a strange place because those tests don't directly affect my job, but at the same time, I have a more objective view of how ineffective those tests are and how damaging they can be for many students. As an arts teacher I know the value of getting to know my students and assessing them as individuals, interacting with them, and celebrating their successes on a minute by minute basis, and not when the scores come back. I am seen largely as a trouble-maker and someone who is not able to see the silver-lining of all of the initiatives and incentive programs that are being forced on the students and teachers of my school. Which is why I have decided to put in a transfer for next year and I plan to continue talking about what is REALLY going on so that others can understand my motives are not selfish, but are hopefully going to empower others to start speaking up, walking out, and revolutionize education!

  3. By definition, a troublemaker is someone who will oppose the 'status quo' and ask the difficult questions. I'd much rather be considered a troublemaker, in this case, than to blindly accept that standardized testing is good for our students and facilitates learning.

  4. Major flaw in your post, Joe. If we're allowed to influence the way education is "adminsitered and managed," those who currently administer and manage public education will be forced to admit our competence (expertise, even) and treat us with a modicum of respect in public discourse.

    This cannot happen without being seen to cave into the pressure of our too-powerful union. Is there a government with the courage to endure this?

  5. Mass public education is really about fulfilling a societal need to train the working class. When capitalism demanded that workers leave the farm and have basic literacy skills, mass public schooling was born. The most important lessons? Come when the bell rings, do as you are told.

    Today standardized tests reflect the need within the workforce for very basic skills - how to use calculators/do simple math, basic reading and writing tasks, following instructions. Standardized tests do a good job at gearing the system towards these learning goals.

    The system never was about common sense and research.

  6. Hello Joe! My name is Sheena Nettles. I am taking EDM 310 at University of South Alabama this semester. I agree with your post, but I would not call teacherz who do not oppose standarized testing troublemakers. Standarized testing boxes students in. There are so many students that are not good test takers. Even some of the most intelligent students do not perform well on standarized tests. This does not mean that they are not intelligent, but they just are not good test takers. Some students think of a standarized test as just a test and do not take it seriously. Every teacher has their own preferred method of testing their students.


    I will be summarizing my vistis to the blog with a post to my blog on 2/6


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