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July 05, 2009


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I blame Mills for pioneering the fetish for standardized testing up the wazoo that eventually caught on nationally, which has certainly been lucrative for some businesses. Standardized testing can serve a useful purpose, but all sense of proportion has been lost. Instead of being a useful measuring stick, it's become the raison d'etre. Actual education is being lost in the process, with teachers being required to be automatons.

And your analogy to Soviet master planning is a bit off. At least the Soviets let their master plans last five years. Today's kids get tested every time they go to the bathroom.

Oh and there's another Catch-22 you may have overlooked. I read an article a few weeks ago that state officials were concerned, yes concerned, that test scores were going up because they presumed that meant the test was too easy and therefore had to be made harder. So if test scores are "too low," schools are punished. If test scores are "too high," then the presumption is not that kids and teachers are doing well but that the test is too easy. A presumption of guilt AND a recipe for mediocrity all at once.


When Mills started, I believe kids used to be state tested after 4th and 8th grades as well as with Regents exams at the end of the cycle of each material. That seemed not unreasonable to me. Now it seems like these poor kids are being state tested every other week.

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This blog is by Bob (Robert C.) Conner, a longtime journalist and author of the 2018 novel "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant" published by Square Circle Press, and a 2013 biography "General Gordon Granger" published by Casemate. He is currently writing a biography of the Kansas abolitionist Col. James Montgomery. His Civil War blog can be found at robertcconnerauthor.blogspot.com
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