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Using a National Test to Commodotize Children

Publication Date: 2008-08-21

Ohanian Comment:I can't emphasize enough how important it is for educators and parents who care about public schools to become aware of the dangers of NAEP.

For more info on how dastardly the NAEP is, take a look at the kinds of questions they ask and how they score the answers.

For some context on Bob Wise's remarks on C-Span which provoked Michael Martin's comment, see Gerald Bracey's Huffington Post.

We must keep informing people about how shoddy the NAEP is. The corporate-politicos and their Standardisto allies want to turn it into the National Exam. Michael Martin's observations are must reading.


by Michael T. Martin

It seems to me Bob Wise is making two points:

1. National tests are preferred even if they are nonsense.

2. Without national tests "50 states set their own level of proficiency that has kids literally all over the map."

The second point is perhaps the most scary: he thinks kids should be commodotized across the nation. Thus he sees parents as somewhat like chickens with no human rights or say in their children's education.

Their children are like eggs to be harvested nationally for some purpose that he thinks should determine how they are commodotized. He sees future public schools as some "factory farm" that "produces" an educational
"commodity" rather than a place where children learn who they are and how to live their own unique useful lives.

So the first point is simply a foil to get to his second point. The false scores of the NAEP are necessary to create a pretext for taking control of the schools away from parents. If they created a real test that produced rational scores they might lose this pretext. There is no escaping that national tests serve no purpose other than to weaken parental control over the education of their children.

The NAEP, first of all, only measures how well the states have aligned their teaching with the curriculum devised by some educational
politburo in accordance with their ulterior purpose. It defies any logic that some national politburo has greater concern over the education of children than their parents and local community.

This also defies the very logic of democratic government. In my opinion, The American Revolution is ongoing: democracy is not something to be taught in history books, but to be fought for at every level of human existence. The threats change, the personifications evolve, but the cost of liberty is eternal vigilance. If parents and the local community cannot vote how to teach their children their values and ideas
then the very idea of democracy becomes as meaningless as the NAEP scoring. It is frightening to me that there are people who think they have some supra-normal ability to control the lives of average people like they were mere farm animals.


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