Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mind Games

When I went to school, learning was about...well, learning. Now, learning is about meeting testing standards. And, testing-based education has started to homogenize learning, creating a generation of ciphers who can meet some arbitrary, meaningless standards. Florida is even exploring the idea of tying teacher pay to test results.

Maybe it is a paranoid Thursday for me, but why do I feel like this is part of a larger conspiracy to control the minds of the young. Think about it, first, you have academic achievement tied to tests. Then, you lock teachers into focusing their efforts solely on test results. What becomes the most important thing in the whole process?

That's right: the test. Whoever controls the test controls the intellectual development of the youth. Normally, the cirriculum is controled by the local school board. But with the federal No Child Left Behind law and state laws, the control of the cirriculum is being taken from local school boards and is going into the hands of increasing conservative state and federal lawmakers. I wouldn't be surprised if "intelligent design" starts to creep into the testing.

Instead of learning to think, it won't be too long until kids are learning what to think.


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