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.”