Time for a Tactical Shift

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Dear colleagues and friends of progressive education,

It is time for us to stop arguing against high-stakes testing. Americans LOVE the idea of high-stakes as long as it means that their kid beats someone else’s kids at school.

We are losing both the battle and the war of ideas.

I humbly suggest that we replace high-stakes testing with the term, constant testing.

Parents, policy-makers and taxpayers are likely unaware that kids in some jurisdictions spend dozens of days each school year taking standardized tests. That doesn’t include the costs or time wasted on endless test-prep. This practice is obviously unsustainable, excessive and nonsensical.

This subtle rhetorical shift to constant testing has the potential to move public opinion in our direction.

Comments

4 Responses to “Time for a Tactical Shift”
  1. We’ve started doing that in Philly – the sheer number of days of testing has become (has been) untenable.

  2. David Wees says:

    I remember reading that in Arizona (perhaps it was John T Spencer who told me this?) students are tested for 45 days out of the school year, which is completely ridiculous.

    Let’s brainstorm some other synonymous phrases as well so we can switch it up once in a while.

    “Continuous testing”
    “Non-stop testing”
    “Testing overload”

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  1. [...] Stager recently suggested that we move away from the phrase “high stakes testing” which he thinks much of the US [...]