Saturday, May 04, 2013

Educational Readings - testing! testing! no time for teaching!

By Allan Alach

Testing is pretty much dominating the educational scene in Australia as the time approaches for their poor kids to be ‘naplanned.’ Good luck kids. Sorry you have to go through this.
If it’s any help, you may be interested to know what your Minister of Education, Peter Garrett, thinks about you and your parents’ rights.

Hard (impossible?) to believe he used to be the singer of Midnight Oil, a politically minded rock band. Hypocrisy then, or now, Peter? One or the other, mate - you can’t have it both ways. Guess there are some rather disillusioned fans out there, not just in Australia.

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

Problems in American education: let teachers teach.

Letting teachers teach would also solve most problems in New Zealand and Australian education...

The Coming Revolution in Public Education

As Bob Dylan wrote: ‘The times they are a’changin…’  Keep fighting against GERM, people. We are winning.

‘It's always hard to tell for sure exactly when a revolution starts. Is it when a few discontented people gather in a room to discuss how the ruling regime might be opposed? Is it when first shots are fired? When a critical mass forms and the opposition acquires sufficient weight to have a chance of prevailing? I'm not an expert on revolutions, but even I can see that a new one is taking shape in American K-12 public education.

Education Reform Party is Over -- What a Mess!

More of the same.

Some market-driven "reformers," undoubtedly, are motivated by profits. Mostly, I suspect, it is the egos of the true believers in Big Data that have kept this testing alive. With the help of the best public relation flacks that money can buy, the top corporate "reformers" and the top state and federal accountability hawks might be able to fend off the evidence-driven protests of teachers. But as these testing outrages grow, they will not be able to stop the ridicule. As more of these absurdities are lampooned, we get closer to the endgame chorus of, "Good night, the party's over."

Eighth grader designs standardized test that slams standardized tests

‘A 13-year-old eighth grader in upstate New York woke up on Sunday and decided that it would be funny if she designed a standardized test that made fun of standardized tests.’

Online education is mostly a fantasy

The neo-liberal dream is to replace teachers with online education (e.g the Khan Academy, that Gates has described as the future of education). They dream of rooms of computers with children logged on to their own online ‘teaching’ (indoctrination?) software. No troublesome teachers to worry about, think of the money to be saved and profits to be made. Not so fast, GERMers, maybe you should read this.

Back to the past!
Testing, Testing… But Not Teaching

-How standardised classroom tests are producing some frightening outcomes in the US.
‘Migration to Finland however, is not an option for New Zealand teachers. Although many of them would probably share Jerry Conti’s fears about where the undue emphasis on standardised classroom testing is leading us, and the damage it is doing to children’s creativity.

High-stakes test time for state's schools

‘Preparations for standardized testing include assemblies, free food, high-tech analyses’

As Bruce Hammonds comments, ‘God help us!’

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