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.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.
4 thoughts on “Time for a Tactical Shift”
We’ve started doing that in Philly – the sheer number of days of testing has become (has been) untenable.
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.
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