Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Three Little Pigs... Why Standardized Testing is a Scam

"Once upon a time there were three little pigs…"

I sometimes wonder if the example of these three pigs is an accurate analogy of the debacle of standardized testing. While we live through the tragic downfall of well-meaning educators in the Atlanta Public Schools, it begs to ask these facetious questions of absurdity and allegorical aggrandizement.

We have three pigs with limited resources and each has an opportunity to build a domicile for their well being.  One pig builds with straw, one with sticks, and the other with bricks. We all know how the story ends. The last pig. building with bricks, is most successful in developing a home that will endure despite the hot air from the wind-blowing wolf (Federal and State Government?).

I see this allegory as a convenient representation of the standardized testing situation in this country. You have three types of schools, with varying levels of economic support and need. The school district of straw (big urban centers such as Atlanta with huge populations of underprivileged children and great levels of poverty). These districts collapse under the pressure from many different corners of society, while fighting to maintain a quality of educational support. 

The school districts of sticks are not as bad off as the straw districts but eventually succumb to the pressures from outside the educational community seeking change and reformation.

And finally, the you have the districts of brick, the wealthy, affluent populations that will weather the abuse of outside mandates requiring testing and reform. No matter what happens, they will survive. 

The sad part of this story is the inequity that exists, and the increasing mandates for change that only 1/3 of the school districts in this world can hope to meet. 

The moral of the story is biased against many children. And, as we are learning from the Atlanta Public Schools, it is a virus that will consume our nation if we do not put the brakes on this test focus culture, above everything else. 

"The primary corrupting agent in the actual education process is the standardized test. It is the collateralized debt obligation of the education "reform" scam. Using standardized testing to measure anything, let alone using it as a basis for whether or not people can keep their jobs or not, is an open invitation to chicanery of all kinds, but especially that which involved massaging the numbers."  (Pierce, 2013)
Pierce, C. (2013, April 01). Yet another education reform scam. Esquire, Retrieved from

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