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More Than A Score TEDx Talk: Join the Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing


More Than A Score TEDx Talk: Join the Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing

Jesse Hagopian

The promise of spring should fill us with delight, but this season is marked with dread and tedium for millions of students around the nation who are entering high-stakes testing season.

Hours upon hours will be wasted eliminating wrong answer choices instead of engaging in critical thinking. Hours upon hours will be spent on exercises of rote memorization rather than on exploration and inquiry. Students will be board to tears or stressed to tears as they fill in bubbles that can determine if they are allowed to graduate or if their teacher is fired.


The testocracy is but another vehicle of privatization, turning government resources over to the corporations that develop and score the tests with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of testing performed. The right wing sold testing as a means of improving education in inner cities. It had no chance of succeeding. Hire teachers who did not major in "education" but rather their subjects, tenure them if they prove to be good teachers, and stay out of their way. Cull the ranks of administration and distribute the salary savings among the teachers.


My Granddaughter is in 4th grade. She has struggled with the testing and the "New math" especially. I fear for her future education under common core.
We have to fight privatization of our educational system. Obama, Duncan, and Gates are the culprits, not the right wing.
Republicans don't like it, at least some, and we have an opportunity when Obama leaves office to fix his attempt at privatizing. I just can't come soon enough.


"Cull the ranks of administration..."

The growth of "administration" is one of the cancers in the public sector. Long time since high school, but in higher ed, "administrators" have metastasized to consume up to a third of the wage and salary budget. When up to a third of the "work" done on major campuses involves "administering" the work of others...

One might ask how on Earth did anyone get anything done back when there were far fewer "administrators"? Or in the real world: How on Earth does anyone get any actual work done now?


It's a complementary item. The right wing is fighting to underfund public schools and see them closed so that funding can go to private charters, the vast majority of which are Christian or Catholic Schools... in DIRECT violation of the merging of church with state.


Some testing as a learning tool would be productive and fun if students took tests and then (a) self-corrected them so they knew the correct answers -- a personal exercise in learning - and (b) discussed the questions and answers with a teacher or mentor. Certain test questions might open the door to expanded discussion. Perhaps students could then take the same test again and note their personal progress. To take tests and to simply be told where one ranked or rated is futile, and it can often lead to the problem Jesse Hagopian cited: religating the student's ability to a line on a chart and for some, curelly inflicting emotional damage that might stay with the victim of testing for life.
Doug Giebel
Big Sandy, Montana​:diamonds::diamonds: