Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of Standardized Testing

Creative by Nature

“The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.. it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.”


The following is a partial transcript for an interview with Noam Chomsky uploaded to youtube by The Progressive Magazine.

“You take what is happening in education. Right now, in recent years, there’s a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that you have to teach to tests. And the test determines what happens to the child and what happens to the teacher.

That’s guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process. It means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention…

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The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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Chris Hedges’ talk at the United Opt Out Conference

From the United Opt Out Conference held in February, 2016 in Philadelphia: “The destruction of the educational system is by design. It is about destroying the capacity to think, to create, and to imagine.” ~ Chris Hedges

Seattle Education

My youngest son enters third grade in Princeton next year and I have already told the principal that not only will he not be taking the standardized  test, but I will be organizing every parent in that classroom.

Chris Hedges

This talk was given at the United Opt Out Conference held in February, 2016 in Philadelphia.

From Americans who tell the truth:

Chris Hedges, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born on September 18, 1956 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He graduated from Colgate University with a BA in English Literature and went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Harvard.  He has an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California.

Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He was an early and outspoken critic of the US plan to invade and occupy…

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Reflections On High Stakes Testing

How do students feel about PARCC? Here is one student’s perspective.


While walking through my middle school during summer cleaning, I came across a crumpled page. I picked it up to see if it was anything important. It was hand written in a student’s printing. As I read the content I realized this was some sort of “prewriting” that a student must have been working on, so as to be able to express her/himself when asked. I am thinking this must have been written by a sixth or perhaps a seventh grade student. I have transcribed it word for word.

“I’ve been waiting for this question for so long! Ok lemmi (let me) rant. Thank you!”

“I absolutely hate PARCC and everything to do with it. The questions are terribly worded and flat out stupid. I get so agervated (aggravated) taking this test cause if you don’t have a mouse you are constantly scrolling and I like being able to see…

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15 Truths of Having Your Child Diagnosed with Cancer 

Even though Ian’s cancer battle is years behind us, this list describes what we went through and still experience (especially 11-15).


I had guessed how bad it would be when I heard my 19 month old had cancer. I imagined a million different scenarios in my head: some of which would happen while others did not. The Internet has been circulating “10 things you didn’t know about this” or “The top 15 reasons you blah blah blah.” So, here’s my version. But this one isn’t funny or cute. It won’t hit everyone that reads it with a familiar nod as if to say “OMG! Yes! I do that too!” This list is somber and sobering. It will be understood entirely by only those who have been down this road. Regardless, I think you should all know. Because I never thought pediatric cancer could effect my family, my precious children. No one does. Until it does. So here goes:

1. At some point or another, you will assume your child is going…

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Part 2: the 2nd principle that drives human life

In an earlier post, Part 1: Identifying the problems, I discussed how Ken Robinson's video  is helping education by shining a light on the problems, identifying the 3 principles that drive human life, and then he offers an existing solution. The first principle is about individuality. Robinson explains the 2nd principle this way: 2nd Principle that … Continue reading Part 2: the 2nd principle that drives human life