Steven Singer digs into Betsy DeVos’s decision to eliminate federally mandated standardized tests this year.

And he goes farther to predict that the tests might be canceled again next year.

The real danger (to the tests, not the students), he says, is that they would not be secure if they were offered online. Under ordinary circumstances, security during testing time is tight. Everyone–students and teachers–is watched to make sure no one copies down the questions. In the past, the testing corporations have even monitored social media accounts to make sure that the test questions are not revealed by teachers or students.

But if the tests were given online to students at home, parents would see how bad the tests really are, and worse, there would be no test security.

The testing corporations go to great length to ensure that their intellectual property is not copied or distributed.

He writes:

As a classroom teacher, I get to see these infernal tests. I get to see the questions.

They are not good. They are not well-written, well considered, developmentally appropriate or even good at evaluating student understanding of the knowledge they claim to be assessing.

But up to this point, anyone who gets to see the tests is sworn to secrecy including the students.

The kids taking these exams – regardless of age – are no longer treated as children. They are clients entering into a contract.

At the start of these tests, they are warned of the legal consequences of violating the terms of this agreement.

There are legal consequences to breaking the rules.

He adds:

If students were allowed to take these tests unsupervised at home, all of this legal protection would disappear.

The corporations would be much more exposed and defenseless.

THAT’S why the tests were cancelled this year.

It wasn’t because anyone rethought the value of high stakes tests – though they should have. It wasn’t because anyone had considered standardized testing’s history in the eugenics movement – which they should have. It wasn’t because anyone was worried that giving these tests would take away precious academic time – though they should have.

It was to protect the business interests that would be at risk otherwise.

Singer explains that the testing industry is already preparing for the post-pandemic future. He thinks we should plan too and plan a future that does not include the testing industry.