Paul Thomas here critiques Jay Greene’s claim that schools of choice should not be subject to the same regime of standardized testing as public schools.

Thomas warns about the numerous academics and “think tanks” that are financed by interested parties and thus do not offer disinterested advice. Greene is a strong advocate of charters and vouchers; his “Department of Educational Reform” at the University of Arkansas is subsidized by the Walton Family Foundation, which promotes alternatives to public education.

Thomas concludes:

“If standardized test data are harmful for determining educational quality, student achievement, and teacher impact, let’s end the inordinate weight of standardized testing, period. And let’s acknowledge that the past thirty years of high-stakes accountability has misrepresented the quality of public schools and likely inaccurately increased public support for school choice.

“If charter schools are a compelling option because they allow schools relief from burdensome bureaucracy, just relieve all public schools from that bureaucracy and then no need for the charter school shuffle.

“Neither of the above will be embraced, however, by school choice advocates because they are not seeking education reform; they are seeking a privatized education system.”