The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham.

The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the government has cast a net around schools that have high poverty rates resulting in many of them being labeled as failures with teachers and administrators fired, and replaced by teachers, many of whom are un-certified, and lack the teaching experience needed for these schools.

Authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing sham

And all of this is done with data that is not only invalid, but is not reliable.  As Dr. Michael Marder says, “the masses of nationwide data do point to the primary cause of school failure, but it is poverty, not teacher quality.”  So what do we do?  We create a system in which life changing decisions are made about teachers and students based on data that is not examined in the context of power, privilege, and income.  This leads to a corrupt system in which we predicate schools’ and teachers’ performance on false data, and use this data to embarrass and destroy careers of highly educated teachers, and bring havoc to families.  Why are we doing this?
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