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 The Rebellion Against Standardized Tests Is Exploding


 The Rebellion Against Standardized Tests Is Exploding

Michelle Chen

Opting out is in. Over the past two years, the movement to boycott standardized tests across New York State has mushroomed from a fringe rebellion to a mass mobilization against what many see as an anxiety-provoking, creativity-stifling, and hypercommercialized testing regime. With record numbers of opt-outs last year, however, activists are now testing the patience of education officials.


I remember a high school teacher I had who would give you a perfect score on a True-False test if you could get every question wrong. I never had the confidence to try it, but it offers another interesting scenario:

Rather than opting out, what if all students started purposely getting every question wrong? That would really drive the school administrators crazy and they would want to ditch these tests as fast as they could as the tests would reflect badly on them no matter what they did.


Thank you for writing this article. Here is a Washington State website which 25,000 parents/students used to get their opt out forms and learn about their rights. http://optoutwashington.org/
Also, my husband and I, both educators, wrote this book which tells the history of ed-reform and the weapons used to destroy our public schools.... http://weaponsofmassdeception.org/

I believe that this is a fight the people will win. Healthcare, food, banks, military and now schools- the big corps can't have it all!


“it’s also possible that federal Title I funds will be withheld.”

This is the usual procedure totalitarian regimes adopt when people do not follow the central plan.

The next step is arrest plus forced testing and free scoring labor by inmates in privatized corporatist gulags. Anything goes with cooperative government / corporate profit maximization.

The next step is austerity for friends and family labeled as untestable sympathetics by National Spy Defense agencies and the Pentagon.


The Third Reich was big on controlling curriculum and using all sorts of punishing carrots and sticks to make its protocols the law (and education) of the land.

This kind of punitive version of education will KILL children's natural impulse to learn! It sets up an association between studies and producing results that is a machine-model of how human beings connect to, and explore their environments.

The heavy hand (and foot) of patriarchy in its new form--unleashed Shock Doctrine capitalist exploitation--is running things from the kind of food we eat, to the media most watch, to the health "care" most can obtain, to what their kids are allowed to learn.

Welcome to The Control State!

This proves my contention:

"Anti-testing activists have emphasized the connection between test-and-punish school reform measures, school closures in communities of color, and the disciplinary policies driving the so-called “school to prison pipeline.”


The test results determine the funding that schools will get and they are also used to falsely evaluate teachers. Did you read the article? Your idea would NOT work.


You said: "The test results determine the funding that schools will get and they are also used to falsely evaluate teachers. Did you read the article? Your idea would NOT work."

Actually, it is the basis of Altruism.
The action you take does not benefit yourself directly, and may even be against your own direct best interest, but others would benefit from your actions. Your own well-funded middle/upper class school (and administrators and teachers) would suffer, but that means schools in poorer districts could fare better.
It would throw a monkey wrench into the works and in the long run invalidate all of the testing, far more than just opting out of the testing would do.

I am reminded of one of my friends who got to the end of his IQ test and realized at the last moment (when it was too late to do anything about it), that he had goofed up and his answer sheet numbers were off by one from the questions. Oops.


If enough people opt out, the whole misguided "accountability" regime collapses because even according to the faulty logic of the testing movement, too-low representation makes the results unusable.


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A test of ills


Before Buckminster Fuller no one imagined a toy that would illustrate an Archimedian principle as well as create multiple Platonic Solids.
All those 2 dimensional 'bubble' multiple choice sheets need to connect some dots. When standardized testing invites this level of engagement I will support them.


It is, and seems like a lot of teachers are failing at it. The way I hear it, they teach to the test (which is bad enough), and the little darlings perform dismal even then.


"With record numbers of opt-outs last year, however, activists are now testing the patience of education officials. State education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has signaled stiff disapproval and dropped hints last month that the movement may suffer consequences for bucking the system."

The state must harden into its police warrior class/global imperialism, or lose some ground (whether temporary or more solidified into democratic community institutions) to democracy.

Both the Ds and the Rs want the police state to succeed. They are mostly winning, as they are religiously devoted to the war against nature. Hardening the police state is their strategy for killing the planet.

Democracy will either achieve self-consciousness, individual (spiritually individuated) and collective (individuated through citizens working together as equals, no matter how they arrange their collective power structures), or continue drifting more or less aimlessly.


Why settle for only three dimensions of education? Why not go for all eleven?

Does being an old goat require one to be stuck in a goat-like mentality?


Now, now, WJS, you completely ignore the reference to the dimensionality of the test, (actually an interesting reflection of what Marcuse referred to as 'One Dimensional Man') and gloss over the presence of the word 'principles'. Just like math equations / algorithms - these are illustrations of dimensions ignored. 'eleven dimensions'? Gads man, you, you shoot yerself in the foot! Ain't no cotton pickin' numeration of the infinite!

But I do like your point anyway