Reader: The Public Doesn’t Understand the Flaws of High-Stakes Testing

Another labor lawyer (not me I promise) weighs in on the impact of high-stakes testing.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader whose nom de plume is “labor lawyer” responds to the AP survey–claiming that parents approve of high-stakes testing–with these observations:


Anecdotal evidence (my own conversations over several years with well-educated middle/upper-middle-class parents), the overwhelming majority of parents approve relying, at least in part, on student test scores to evaluate teachers, including to discharge teachers. In these conversations, I argue that high-stakes testing is 1) too unreliable to use for evaluation purposes due to variables impacting test scores that are beyond the teacher’s control, and 2) counterproductive because it has too many adverse side effects (i.e., encouraging cheating, narrowing the curriculum, discouraging teacher-teacher cooperation, and discouraging teachers from accepting assignments in low-SES schools). Usually, my arguments fall on deaf ears.

These conversations suggest — to me — that most parents do not know enough about what goes on in a classroom today (particularly a classroom in a low-SES-area…

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