Over at Common Dreams David Sirota takes on the nonsense that passes for education in the United States, noting in disgust that the Department of Education wants to “subject 4-year-olds to high-stakes testing”.
Though bobo evangelists like David Brooks insist — without data, of course — that reduced testing “leads to lethargy and perpetual mediocrity,” Hammond notes that “nations like Finland and Korea — top scorers on the Programme for International Student Assessment” have largely “eliminated the crowded testing schedules used decades ago when these nations were much lower-achieving.”
Sirota does fail to note that Brooks apparently ignores the success of American education in all those years before the bureaucrats decided to institute high-stakes testing in order to make the life of the bureaucrats easier. Yes, it’s true: high-stakes testing has much more to do with letting bureaucrats do budget math more easily because they don’t have to work with the messy numbers that individuality and creativity on the part of millions of students create.
And of course there is the general attitude about education nurtured by the general culture and by the right wing and the wealthy:
Where Finland rejects testing, nurtures teachers, and encourages its best and brightest to become educators, we fetishize testing, portray teachers as evil parasites and financially encourage top students to become Wall Streeters.
The ruling class in America sees education as a production line building factory drones and paper-pusher drones and obedience drones, while reserving the best jobs for their own warped progeny who, after a couple of generations of this behavior, have no clue what meaning, or what little meaning that remains, once lived in the idea of America.
Even if education were still a genuine American value, most people can’t get a good education here anymore. Too bad the poor and the middle class can’t outsource their kids to Finland, which is closer to being a real America than this bloated, ugly thing, this rotting toy of the upper class that this country has become.