Peter Greene here explains what most teachers know about standardized testing. It is a monumental waste of time and money. It doesn’t reflect what students were taught or learned.

He writes:

“Standardized testing is completely inauthentic assessment, and students know that. The young ones may blame themselves, but students of all ages see that there is no connection between the testing and their education, their lives, anything or anyone at all in their real existence. Standardized test are like driving down a highway on vacation where every five miles you have to stop, get out of the car, and make three basketball shot attempts from the free throw line– annoying, intrusive, and completely unrelated to the journey you’re on. If someone stands at the free throw line and threatens you with a beating if you miss, it still won’t make you conclude that the requirement is not stupid and pointless.

“And so the foundation of all this data generation, all this evaluation, all this summative formative bibbitive bobbitive boobosity, is a student performing an action under duress that she sees as stupid and pointless and disconnected from anything real in life. What are the odds that this task under these conditions truly measures anything at all? And on that tissue-thin foundation, we build a whole structure of planning students’s futures, sculpting instruction, evaluating teachers. There is nothing anywhere that comes close in sheer hubritic stupidity.”

The only point he overlooks is that standardized testing mirrors socioeconomic status and distributes benefits and sanctions along the SES curve.