Paul Thomas writes a scathing indictment of the U.S. Department of Education’s blind faith in standardized testing. He might have included the U.S. Congress, as well as most governors and legislatures, and a large number of think tanks and foundations. Certainly, one of the primary malefactors of the testing obsession is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And let’s not forget George W. Bush, Margaret Spellings, and Sandy Kress (architect of NCLB and Pearson lobbyist.) Then there is the cluster of testing zealots attached to the Common Core.

I could devote an entire post to listing those who shaped the current regime of testophilia. I would include myelf for my sins, but at least I recanted my sins.

Thomas attributes a large part of the damage to non-educators put in positions of authority.

“And let’s not fail to acknowledge that such vapid bureaucratic nonsense is inevitably the result of know-nothings being appointed to positions of power (think never-taught Arne Duncan serving as Secretary of Education in the wake of Margaret Dishonest-or-Incompetent Spellings turning her hollow SOE gig into becoming president of the University of North Carolina, resulting in her bragging about having none of the background experiences typical of leading higher education).”

Thomas includes links to valuable articles and studies about the uselessness of high-stakes standardized testing. Does anyone at the U.S. Department of Education read research? Or has it been turned into a cheering squad for whatever administration is in charge?