High Stakes Testing – Expensive, Wasteful, Ineffective Child Abuse

Hopefully, you read the letter that educational tutor Barry Jackson sent to Betsy DeVos.  In it you can see the damage that is being done to our children by the Arizona State Board of Education when they, along with then Gov. Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, in 2010, brought the Common Core Machine to Arizona.  They did this in hopes of "winning" millions of dollars from our federal government via Race to the Top.  

Since that time, Common Core has been rebranded, twice.  Further, the pro-Common Core State Board has ensured that the damage continues.  These people consider themselves "experts," a term that is being met with cynicism by a growing number of critically thinking people. 

"Board member Jared Taylor, who has been consistent in his opposition to Common Core, was the lone “no” vote.

“The bottom line is that I am very disappointed that we kicked the parents to the curb and ignored the will of the voters when they elected Diane Douglas. Yet she led the way today; we just renewed Common Core,” stated Taylor.  Arizona State Board Of Education Approves Rebrand Of Common Core Standards

If you have any doubts about the negative effects of High Stakes Testing, there are many others who agree with Barry Jackson.  They also say it is counter-productive, expensive, wasteful, and it is also child abuse.   

As you read some of the comments below from the real experts, both local and national,–there are thousands more that I have not quoted–please recall that the Arizona State Board of Education voted in April 2017, to make 90% of a school’s A-F grade dependent on how well their students scored on the High Stakes test, AZMerit.   

Jared Taylor stated in a Twitter comment:  "AZMerit is expensive and doesn’t provide meaningful feedback to schools. Thousands of duplicate tax money is spent on real tests for schools. Very wasteful."

Frank Riggs, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, recently stated in a Twitter comment:  "We compound the mistake of Common Core by mandating a high stakes test (AZMerit) aligned to Common Core, the results of which are used as the primary criterion in ranking the performance of all public schools, district and charter, and grade them on a so-called "school report card." As Bill Gates said, ‘When the test is aligned to the standards, the curriculum will follow.’ "The result: Too much valuable instruction time lost to test prep. Forced conformity to these standards and testing regimen ignores that every child has unique talents and learning abilities."

Riggs also had this to say: "The ill-conceived consequences of high-stakes testing & results-based funding not only mandate teaching to the test but penalize schools serving the hardest-to-educate, most disadvantaged segments of the student population: minority, low-income, ELL/LEP, special needs students"!

See Also:

The National Common Core Standards System

SILENT NO MORE: Why this Former Teacher Opted Out of the AzMerit  

Collateral Damage: How High-Stakes Testing Corrupts America’s Schools, by Sharon L. Nichols and David C. Berliner, foreword by Nel Noddings.

Drawing on their extensive research, Nichols and Berliner document and categorize the ways that high-stakes testing threatens the purposes and ideals of the American education system. 

For more than a decade, the debate over high-stakes testing has dominated the field of education. This passionate and provocative book provides a fresh perspective on the issue and powerful ammunition for opponents of high-stakes tests.

Their analysis is grounded in the application of Campbell’s Law, which posits that the greater the social consequences associated with a quantitative indicator (such as test scores), the more likely it is that the indicator itself will become corrupted—and the more likely it is that the use of the indicator will corrupt the social processes it was intended to monitor.

Nichols and Berliner illustrate both aspects of this “corruption,” showing how the pressures of high-stakes testing erode the validity of test scores and distort the integrity of the education system. Their analysis provides a coherent and comprehensive intellectual framework for the wide-ranging arguments against high-stakes testing, while putting a compelling human face on the data marshalled in support of those arguments.


The Schools’ War on Arizona’s Children: Part 3 Emotional Child Abuse 

High Stakes Testing by Gerald Brace  

Under the gun of the tests, teachers are abandoning their usual curricula and modes of teaching to lecture about test-oriented material. In many instances, they are omitting aspects of the curriculum not on the test. One local school board in a large Virginia district held a special session to determine if they needed to mandate recess for their elementary schools because so many of them had abandoned it in favor of test preparation. In Texas, where science and social studies were not initially included in testing, teachers reported that those subjects virtually disappeared. When the science and social studies tests appeared, science and socials studies were quickly geared to what those tests tested. Tests can easily misrepresent the achievements of a school. For instance, six high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida, made the College Board’s list of the top 100 high schools in the entire nation, based on the number of Advanced Placement examinations taken per student. Yet, in the Florida state accountability system, which grades schools from A to F, all six received a grade of C. 

During Picketing, PJSTA President Says High-Stakes Testing is "Child Abuse"  

GMO Children by Denis Ian.  

Pressure is a fact of life … and so are tests and assessments. But now … the pressure to perform is border-line child abuse. Too many youngsters … and their families …  are paying a disturbing price for this unhealthy obsession.

In some instances, we’re talking about children less than a hundred months old. Instead of marking exciting, new inches on door jambs, some egghead-theoreticians have determined that growth has but one measure … and that’s by tests.

High-Stakes Tests: A Harsh Agenda for America’s Children, By U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone  

 "Today I want to speak out boldly against this trend towards high-stakes testing. It is a harsh agenda that holds children responsible for our own failure to invest in their future and in their achievement. I speak out because education has consumed my adult life and education is my passion. I speak out because I was an educator for twenty years before I became a Senator. I speak out because as a Senator, I have been in a school almost every two weeks for the past ten years and I have seen, as you have, the inequality so many children confront. I also have seen how much difference a good school and a good teacher can make for a child. It is based on this experience and on what I have seen and heard about the abuse of high stakes tests by many states and school districts across the country, that I speak out today."