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June 19, 2012

The Pitfalls of Standardized Testing?

Diane Ravitch's blog

As I read Dana Goldstein’s article about the advance of standardized testing into subjects like the arts and physical education, I began to get a queasy feeling. “This isn’t right,” I mumbled to myself. I thought of my grandchildren taking standardized tests in music and gym, and I shook my head. This isn’t right.

Race to the Top has promoted this movement to test every subject. Arne Duncan brandished $5 billion to encourage states and districts to judge teachers by the rise or fall of their students’ scores. The fact that there is no evidence for this method of judging teachers doesn’t matter. Bad ideas backed by big money have a way of catching on, no matter how mindless they are.

South Carolina has developed online tests for the arts, multiple-choice, of course. Florida is building tests of music and other pervormance arts that can be scored by machine, that…

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