Saturday, July 26, 2008

Standardized Testing

In his book Human Efficiency, H.H. Goddard said, "standardized testing was a way to make lower classes recognize their own inferiority." The idea was that it would discourage them from breeding and having ambition. (Remember, Hitler got the idea of 'eugenics' from America) Note also that Goddard was the head of the Psychology Department at Princeton and had great influence over the minds of students.

Standardized tests tell everyone, including the child, whether you will succeed. They are among the verbal and non-verbal cues sent by teachers and administrators that shape self-doubt. Unfortunately this self-doubt isn't really reality; it is contrived based on a test that does not allow for individuality, imagination or particular strengths. Assessing children constantly and making sure everyone knows his or her rank is a recipe for empty children. Everyone is ranked according to these blasted tests; you are gifted, average, below average, special ed.; and you do not by in large, escape that rank.

Provisional self-esteem is another word we could use in place of self-doubt. Children's self-respect is made contingent on the certification of experts through the magic numbers or test scores. The children become dependent on the numbers, as do their parents. Self-respect or self-esteem is NOT self-generated as it was for Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers.

QUOTE: "Education is the modern world's temporal religion" Bob Chase, president, National Education Assoc. , NEA TODAY, April 1997

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