Heather Vogell, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has spent a year studying the testing industry.

The series she is writing about testing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution should receive a Pulitzer Prize. See here and here.

What she has uncovered is that the tests are flawed, that errors are common, and that students are denied a high school diploma because of errors made by the testing companies.

When I read about students who dropped out of school because they failed a test–because the test answers were wrong or mis-scored–it makes me feel that the testing companies should be subject to criminal prosecution.

Those students will not have a diploma, they will not be able to go to college, they will not be able to get a good job to support themselves and their family, because of a bad standardized test.

Let me repeat: Testing companies that inflict real harm on real people should be subject not just to fines, but to criminal prosecution.

The testing industry is ruining the lives of other people’s children while they rake in profits.

And they suffer no consequences. Only the students do.

Let’s face it, folks.

Our nation is overdosing on standardized tests.


Because the people in charge–in Washington, D.C. and in the state capitols–don’t trust teachers.

They don’t trust teachers to make their own tests, as teachers did for generations, and as teachers in other nations still do.

This has to stop.

Start planning now for the spring testing season.

Opt out.

Do not let your child take the state tests.

Do not administer the tests.

Encourage your school to opt out.

Encourage your entire district to opt out.

Stop the machine.

Stop the destruction of the lives of children and  young people.

Take control away from the technocrats and demand a real education, not a system whose only purpose is to rank and rate students based on flawed instruments.