The Learning Renaissance

Standardised Testing: The Bane of Learning

Standardised testing represents the full vent of industrial production processes to the learning experience.

To test is to measure so qualitative elements are sacrificed to something that is measurable, whether it is meaningful or not.

Content dominates the learning process and the in the secondary sector, that means that students leave statutory education with a range of curriculum experiences which stress difference rather than commonality between subjects. Not surprisingly the dash to capture the knowledge means that the development of attitudes, learning behaviours and key competences are deficient.

There would appear to be some correlation between the preponderance of testing and deficiencies in the progress of students – compare the US to Finland for example. Moreover, in the US the ‘testing industry’ has a vested interest in promoting standardised testing as the panacea for all ills as its’ income is derived from the sales of tests and software to compound the mountain of data on each child.


After almost 30 years at an alternative high school, Ann Cook now heads a consortium of New York public high schools that assess students with little reliance on standardized tests. Photo courtesy of Ann Cook

In this context, this article on the performance of those schools in NYC which have rebelled against the Standardised Test regime is telling: NYC schools that skip standardized tests have higher graduation rates | The Hechinger Report


About educationalist04

Dazed and confused much of the time but convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans.

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