A widely
distributed AP story
claimed that parents favor
high-stakes standardized testing and think that their children are
taking the right number of tests. The obvious intent of the story
was to deflate the anti-testing movement, which has been surging in
recent years (consider that almost every local school board in the
state of Texas passed a resolution opposing high-stakes testing and
the legislature, facing popular opposition to the state’s
over-reliance on testing, backed down and reduced the number of
mandated tests). In
this post, Mercedes Schneider shows how the analysts
the AP massaged the survey questions and parent responses to get
the results they wanted. What the survey really shows is that
parents are generally very satisfied with their public school and
their child’s teachers. They turned some fairly straightforward
responses into an endorsement of high-stakes testing, by carefully
manipulating the questions and their reporting of the answers. It
is not too strong to say that the AP story is propaganda for the
corporate reform agenda. Where are the rallies of parents saying,
“Please keep testing our kids! Test them more! Fire their
teachers!” I haven’t seen any, have you?