Peter Greene warns you not to be fooled when the biggest advocates of high-stakes testing say they want fewer and better tests. Consider the source.

Greene writes:

“The big news on the street is that the CCSSO and CGCS (state ed leaders and big city school folks respectively) have announced an intention to rein in the testing juggernaut.

“I’m not impressed. To begin with, they put front and center NY State’s John King, Louisiana’s John White, and DC Public’s Kaya Henderson– three big fresh faces of the anti-public school reformster movement (two TFA temps and a charter profiteer). That’s a big fat signal that this not about changing course, but about protecting the current high-stakes test-driven status quo.

“And in fact these folks were not there to say, “We realize something is wrong and we’re committed to fixing it.” They were there to say, “We recognize that we’re taking some PR heat on this, so we’re going to see if we can’t tweak the optics enough to get everyone to shut up while we stay the course.” They’re going to “look at” testing. Maybe “audit” the number. ”

He adds:

“The whole trick of this new position is that it carefully avoids the most important question. And so we’re having a conversation about having less testing without discussing the quality of testing and its role in driving education. We’re going to combine tests and streamline tests, but we’re not going to discuss the value of the tests or the uses of their results. It’s as if we discovered that students were getting arsenic on their school lunch every day and the compromise response was, “Well, let’s just look at putting a little less on there.” It’s like living in a crime-ridden neighborhood and being told, “Good news! The muggers have gotten together and decided that they will coordinate more carefully so that you only get robbed once a day.”

Don’t be fooled.