An excellent quote from Ken Jones:
“What if policymakers were actually sincere in their rhetoric about improving schools? Would they not look at the actual damages of the testing approach and cease doing harm while they reconsidered what might be a better way? Would they not attend to the overwhelming data that shows that child and family poverty is the most influential variable related to test scores? Would they not listen to measurement experts who almost universally warn that student test scores do not accurately reflect the taught curriculum, provide sufficient information to support valid inferences about student learning, or allow for sound judgments about schools and teachers? Would they not hear and respond to the voices of educators and parents who decry the classroom effects of teaching to the test? Would they not learn from successes and innovations in other countries such as Finland, Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, and the United Kingdom?[iv]
But these data sets, research findings, and public opinions don’t seem to have much effect on the lawmakers. Because the lawmakers are not accountable for maintaining a successful educational system. Just as they decide to vote for and fund wars against popular opinion or even common sense, bail out banks rather than provide jobs and secure mortgages, and continue to provide tax relief to the extremely rich in a time of unprecedented wealth disparity, so do they continue to press public schools with impossible measurement goals while reducing funding. The fact is that the lawmakers are responding to those who have paid to put them into office – the wealthy and the corporations. As if this should surprise us by now.
The accountability system in this country remains in place because it does, in fact, reflect the interests of the wealthy and the corporations. It serves to sustain the privilege and power of the “haves” versus the “have nots.” We simply have to look at who wins and who loses in the game of standardized testing. “