Why Indeed!

Stupid Excerpt (from page 29 of Stupid Schools, Stupid Students: Get Smart)

I question why the focus of education in the United States has shifted
from trust in a teacher’s education and knowledge to the trust that
standardized testing is the most effective way, apparently the only way, to
determine student success. That this has become the determining factor in
evaluating student progress, teacher effectiveness and school standards is a
troubling trend.

The current public education model is based on unfounded assumptions.
Assertions from national and state authorities that testing is an essential,
proven means to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to acquire
knowledge and reach skill goals that are uniform in all American schools are
not supported by observational data. According to the 2000 U.S. Census
Bureau’s statistics on education, the maps of the country “reveal broad
geographic differences in educational attainment and high school enrollment
patterns nationwide.”

The belief that American students and schools are, or can become,
superior to the educational quality of students and schools from other
nations is laughable and unrealistic. Those who make educational policies
and set the criteria for educational standards continue to ignore the input
and concerns of those who do the real work on the front lines, so to speak, of
trying to teach kids within a broken system. Empirically, the arguments of
those who promote the benefits of testing lack confirmation by any
demonstrable gains in the educational achievements of students in the
United States.

Administrators from the U.S. Department of Education to the
educational departments of the states, including Florida, are hood-winked by
questionable unsubstantiated, often manipulated, statistical evidence.
Politicians, Lobbyists, and CEOs of testing companies have very little
knowledge of the problems associated with testing, nor do they have any
interaction with those who are most directly affected by tests.