The Anti-Testing Zombie Apocalypse

Grrrrrr….testing ruin flavor of BRAINSSSZZZSSSS!!!!

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

While some of the strongest supporters of standardized testing have allowed their minds to wander to counter-productive uses of overstretched waiver authority in the already dying days of a lame-duck administration, rumors have reached my ears of growing support for eliminating annual testing as a requirement under NCLB in Congress.

This may seem implausible to some, but after watching a 30+ year bipartisan consensus on transparency fold like a house of cards in Texas, nothing seems impossible. Discuss among yourselves…

The hour is later than you think…

9 Responses to The Anti-Testing Zombie Apocalypse

  1. bkisida says:

    I found this picture of pro-NCLB testing werewolves. They look even scarier than zombies.

  2. Joy Pullmann says:

    Someone tell me where in the Constitution it authorizes Congress to have anything to do with testing?

    • matthewladner says:

      If you assume that the 10th amendment is written in an ancient language with no available translation rather than simple English (a fashionable view in Congress) then it is a short hop over the the general welfare and necessary and proper clauses.

    • allen says:

      Come on, it’s no that hard to understand.

      Congress passes law that authorizes the disbursement of funds. The funds come with conditions. Take the bait and you get the hook. Avarice ensures that the approach is very nearly as effective as an unconstitutionally mandatory testing regime.

    • Greg Forster says:

      Interestingly, recent Supreme Court precedent has established that there is a limit to how far this gambit can be pushed. Beyond a certain point, federal government control of state affairs via mandates attached to federal funding that is financed by coercive federal collection of taxes amounts to de facto federal coercion of states; it can be (and has been) struck down. The one little problem with this otherwise heartening development is that no one knows where the boundary is, or how to draw it.

  3. matthewladner says:

    Let’s just be clear that whatever they are cooking up is not going to be some sort of ringing endorsement of the 10th amendment that recognizes the beauty of state and local control over education and includes an apology for all of their meddling. This is Congress we are discussing after all, not bizarro-world Congress.

    So ignoring the shiny object of the omnipresent federalism issue, there is apparently strong and growing support in Congress for discarding the practice of little things like measuring academic growth.

    I watched a bill pass out of the Texas House education committee in 2013 without a single dissenting vote that basically would have allowed kids that did well on their state test in one year skip it the next year. My jaw hit the floor-adios growth measures, it was fun while it lasted.

  4. pdexiii says:

    A standardized test has rarely told me anything about my students my own testing regime (my students would say “torture”) didn’t reveal already.
    Unlike so many of my colleagues I never freak out over standardized testing because I strive to teach content, and these tests are reasonable measures of content knowledge and skill (at least for math). So many teachers-education advocates-activists oppose standardized testing because it shines an ugly light on the content they aren’t teaching, and they worship at the altar of ‘collaboration,’ ‘critical-thinking,’ and ’21st century skills,’ thus belittle ‘mere facts’ as ‘drill-and-kill’ and turn the phrase ‘wrote memorization’ into a pejorative. By the time young people under their care reach their teen age years and cannot multiply past their 6’s fluently nor read a newspaper from their limited vocabulary it’s blamed by these very same folk on ‘poverty.’
    More insidiously, these same folk have their children not in these schools they seek to slide out of standardized testing but enrolled in selective/private schools that are driven by standardized tests.
    I have many former students that are young parents with school age children, and I tell them all the time it’s not their children I worry about in school, but the adults in their children’s schools.

  5. […] Congress eliminate testing for accountability? Matthew Ladner has heard rumors of  The Anti-Testing Zombie Apocalypse, he writes on Jay Greene’s blog. I couldn’t resist the headline and […]

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