Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization
Edited By Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas
Chapter Three: Technocratic Groupthink Inflates the Testing Bubble
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Technocratic Groupthink Inflates THE Testing Bubble
As I was taking a look at the latest report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a disturbing thought came to mind. The NCTQ prepared a report in 2012 that criticized schools of education for failing to jump on the “obsessed with data” bandwagon. You can just feel the irritation in the words of NCTQ president Kate Walsh in an interview related to the report:
A lot of schools of education continue to become quite oppositional to the notion of standardized tests, even though they have very much become a reality in K–12 schools. The ideological resistance is critical. (Resmovitz, 2012, May, 2012)
This reminds me of a phenomenon called groupthink. I think what we are experiencing in education is actually a virulent and coercive strain of groupthink, and it is doing our students a great deal of harm. As I wrote in 2011 (Cody, 2011, April 28), the value of test data has been inflated way beyond its true worth, in a manner similar to real estate prices during the bubble of the past decade. Once this bubble is launched, many people begin to depend on it for their livelihoods (Resmovitz, 2012, May 22).
There’s been a flood of tax-exempt corporate money for advocacy, think-tank research, and lobbying to direct public education policy into a public-private partnership under corporate,...
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