Shawgi Tell is a professor of education at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.

In this post, Shawgi Tell describes the massive misuse of standardized tests created by mega-corporations.

He writes:

Charter school supporters and promoters have long been severely obsessed with comparing charter school and public school students’ scores on expensive curriculum-narrowing high-stakes standardized tests produced by big corporations. They fetishize test scores and believe such scores are useful and meaningful in some way, despite what extensive evidence has shown for decades.

One reason charter school supporters and promoters dogmatically fixate on pedagogically meaningless test scores is because they do not want to draw anyattention to the real underlying problem with charter schools, which is that they are privatized, marketized, corporatized, deregulated, deunionized, non-transparent, pro-competition, political-economic arrangements that siphon billions of public dollars from public schools every year and make rich people even richer while drowning in fraud, corruption, waste, arrests, scandal, and racketeering.

Nonprofit and for-profit charter schools are contract schools that operate outside the public sphere and benefit mainly major owners of capital, even though they are portrayed as a way to “empower parents.” Test scores do not change this. Whether students’ scores on unsound tests produced by for-profit companies are high or low, it does not make the looting of billions of dollars in public funds by charter schools from public schools acceptable. Test scores cannot cover up this large-scale theft and destruction. Scores on tests not produced by educators and lacking a human-centered perspective necessarily serve retrogression….

Charter school supporters’ obsession with test scores is a ruse. It is designed to fool the gullible. People should recognize that public schools, funds, facilities, resources, assets, and authority belong only to the public and that wealthy private interests behind charter schools have no legitimate claim to them no matter how well or poorly charter school students—usually chosen by the school, not the other way around—score on widely-rejected corporate tests.