GenEd: All Testing Left Behind

Testing, not kids, is what’s failing across America.

Testing, not kids, is what’s failing across America. We’ve known this for almost two decades, and the time for students, teachers, parents, and schools to take back and rebuild our decimated education system is far overdue.

This is not a polite request. This is not a humble suggestion. This is a boorish, pompous, ferocious command on behalf of educators and the American people. 2014 has come and gone, and as far as “No Child Left Behind” is concerned, let’s just say that some “childs” have been left behind.

Bush is not alone to blame. The Obama administration’s policies not only reinforced, but exacerbated the mandates of NCLB, and the administration’s failure in 2014—the projected success year of “100%-proficiency” objectives—to review, address, and repair the damage that has now become standard practice in American education is inexcusable.

Yes, Trump enthusiasts: you can blame OBAMA.

But Trump hasn’t quite Made Education Great Again either. By appointing as his Secretary of Education the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing, Trump’s administration has sealed the coffin on U.S. educational decimation.

…the entire teaching profession has been hijacked by politicians, lobbyists, and bankrolling assessment corporations [who] commodify our very children.

It is factually, empirically, and observably true that these testing practices interfere with student learning. They impede teaching and planning and undermine teacher professionalism. They cripple the entire educational network, pinning states, superintendents, administrators, and teachers against one another in perpetual scapegoating. I’ll not reiterate for the nth time the baggage of facts and figures that verify these realities, partly because we’ve heard it all before, and partly because facts and figures haven’t inspired productive action on behalf of our children.

Instead, the entire teaching profession has been hijacked by politicians, lobbyists, and bankrolling assessment corporations who have managed, before the eyes of an entire nation, to commodify our very children.

This week, I sat and watched my beloved students raked through the medieval rack of the mental, physical, and spiritual torture that is the SAT. It is heartbreaking, cruel, and inhumane. I’m tired of the death of kindergarten, the weeping and anxiety of third-grade testers, the sight of soul-dead eighth-graders physically awry in their seats; the language-famished, embittered high-school juniors whose souls have been robbed of the joy of learning and who’ve developed a PTSD-like revulsion toward print material. I speak on behalf of our children: this has to stop!

Education belongs to teachers and educators, not lobbied politicians and corporations.

What drives the greatest models of education in the world, from Finland to Singapore, and is consistent with research and practice, and remains the only option that the U.S. has yet to implement, is to return the teaching profession to the teachers. Education belongs to teachers and educators, not lobbied politicians and corporations. Give us back our profession and listen to us. We know what we’re talking about, and we could teach you a thing or two about it.

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