Foundations, charities but mainly for-profit groups claim to have all the answers to “fix” education in the United States. Their principal tool is the standardized test, and not just any standardized tests, the ones they have created. It’s funny they always talk about accountability but what harm does it do to millions of students to be rated by tests that make little sense and measure only a small part of the results we expect our schools to produce?
As as society, it should be a matter of some concern that tax free foundations are the weapons of choice in the battle to replace public education with a neo-liberal set up where you get what you pay for. Essentially, the taxpayers are substituting anti-democratic initiatives across the country.
It’s bizarre that the United States is one of the pioneers in creating public schools is the nation where it seems most under attack.
Privatization is undoing Brown v. Board of Education – Salon.com
Untaxed and Unqualified Foundations Want To “Save Our Schools”
The “starve the beast” mentality allows the privatizers to claim that our “Soviet-style” schools don’t work, and that a business approach must be used instead. Philanthropists like Bill Gates and Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch and the Walton family, who have little educational experience among them, and who have little accountability to the public, are promoting “education reform” with lots of standardized testing.
But according to the National Research Council, “The tests that are typically used to measure performance in education fall short of providing a complete measure of desired educational outcomes in many ways.” Diane Ravitch notes that the test-based Common Core standards were developed by a Gates-funded organization with almost no public input. Desperate states had to adopt the standards to get funding.
Bill Gates may be well-intentioned, but he’s a tech guy, and his programming of children into educational objects is disturbing. One of his ideas is to videotape teachers and then analyze their performances. The means of choosing ‘analysts’ is unclear. Another Gates idea is the Galvanic Skin Response bracelet, which would be attached to a child to measure classroom engagement, and ultimately gauge teacher performance. It all sounds like a drug company’s test lab.
As noted by Ravitch and others, philanthropic organizations tend to contribute to “like-minded entities,” which are likely to exclude representatives of the neediest community organizations. They are also tax-exempt. And when educational experiments go wrong, they can just leave their mess behind and move on to their next project.
From around the web.
From the web site, Cleo’s Blog.
I completely agree with the Education Bug. Standardized testing has its place in schools, but it is extremely flawed. In today’s society standardized testing greatly impacts the lives of every student and teacher in the public school system. We have created these tests to measure students intelligence, as well as the performance of teachers in the classroom. One problem with this (which must not have stood out when we decided to implement these in our schools) is that just like every student learns differently, they test differently as well.
Another problem with standardized test is that it takes away from a teacher’s freedom in the classroom to teach what they think the students should know.When a teacher steps into a classroom each morning they focus on only the things that may be on the big test at the end of the year, leaving out crucial information that may not necessarily be on the test. The curriculum of our schools are now being based around the content of the standardized tests. This not only limits teachers’ creativity and ability to share knowledge with their students, but also caps students’ learning and retention of information. Students take in the information in a way only to regurgitate it for the test and then they soon forget what they have learned. Among the many flaws of standardized testing, curriculum is only one. Governmental spending on test preparations and how great the impact these tests have on students’ educational careers are also pitfalls of the standardized tests.