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Reader View: Stop standardizing students for profit

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Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014 9:00 pm

The existence of standardized testing has plagued the American school system for longer than the past decade. However, because the Bush and Obama administrations have chosen to embrace a business model of enhancing the performance of schools, a period of high-stakes testing began.

Support came not just from names such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but by big, for-profit organizations that supported the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act and received their financial profit by producing textbooks and materials. This transformed American education into a new market where profit could be made by investors and shareholders. The plan depends on the notion of a core curriculum and a standardization of learning, rooted in the concept that every child is equal but not in the idea that all children should have equal opportunity. While it might be a good idea, as Albert Einstein would have it: “I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in scandalizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture.”

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2 comments:

  • Francesca Blueher posted at 7:04 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    fblueher Posts: 2

    Excellent, thoughtful article. I was part of the group that screened the documentary, Standardized, in Nob Hill last month. We will be showing it again at The Guild on September 20. Thank you Marzia for presenting a compelling argument about standardized, high stakes tests.

     
  • Dean Leh posted at 6:24 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    DeanLeh Posts: 3

    What an insightful article! Kudos!

     

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