The Atrophic Nature of Standardization


I just read a series of commentary by several teachers who were making some very good cases against the seemingly endless use of high stakes standardized testing.  But I was horrified that the conclusion of each was that somehow standardization for the purpose of measuring learning (i.e. critical thing skills, creativity, discovery) was not only a valid methodology but even essential. 

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_ahead/testing-at-a-crossroads/?cmp=ENL-TU-NEWS1


I am still seeing a disconnect here.  

The word - and the concept of STANDARDIZATION - permeates even these conversations about the dangers and waste of the overuse of standardized tests.  

Public education and the democratic principles it represents along with the unique human individuals (now referred to as human capital) it serves must end this deeply imbedded notion that standardization of human thought in any way fosters critical thinking, creativity or respect for the dignity of humankind.  

Standardized tests that require standardized answers (typically multiple choice-true/false) were created in the name of efficiency for the purpose of measuring what cannot be measured with a ruler - true learning.  

Teachers MUST have the confidence in their professional training and new teachers must receive the support of their experienced peers to reject the years of indoctrination that the grades resulting from the endless paper and pencil bubble sheets have any value. 

 Parents MUST encourage teachers to apply their own knowledge and understanding of their students to offer valid and more reliable methods to assess INDIVIDUAL needs that will help each child reach his or her own potential!  

Students must not allow themselves to be believe that education is a metaphor for the gated communities so many choose to live in or that their futures are secure as long as they remain "in the box."  

And now the idea that standardizing teacher education programs which will necessitate applying standardized testing regimes even to them, is an apostasy.  

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