Tuesday, 19 June 2012

It's the testing regime that kills

This afternoon on twitter someone called (I think) 'blackadder' tweeted this quote from Einstein:

 "Not everything that counts can be measured. Not everything that can be measured counts."

I had a thought that every time you time you or I might criticise one test (SATs, or the Phonics Screening Check) you find yourself having to mount an argument purely and simply against that one test. In a way this misses the point. What has happened is that we've moved to a 'testing regime' and it isn't so much the faults of that single test that is the problem - though that test may be plenty problematic - it's the dominating presence of a testing regime. As I thought about it, I started tweeting. Here they are, collected together:

On the grounds that it's good to assess some things, they're trying to make education into something where you assess all things.

The fib about wall-to-wall testing is that it helps education find out what the learner needs. In fact its job is to produce failures.

The most powerful tool the testing regime has is that those being tested can't question whether it's OK to be tested.

The testing regime needs failures like the police need criminals. Finding failures is the power that the tester has to ensure compliance.

With the cyclical collapse in the jobs market, you'd think assessment would lose its rationale. No, it just means that even successes fail.

In the testing regime, success is bought from the failures just as the gambler wins from the losers' bets.

If you oppose the testing regime,you will be cast as someone who opposes all testing even if you insist you're not.

In testing regime, only the testable is tested.The untestable - like co-operation, compassion, courage in face of adversity are worthless.

The testing regime always denies that the permanent state of test-shaped learning is caused by the testing regime.

The testing regime weighs least on those who are in institutions which the state has designated as a corridor to power.

Capitalism can no longer guarantee that the successes in the testing regime will be given the same jobs that successes had in a previous era

Because there are no longer any guarantees in the testing regime anymore it's vital to blame this on those teaching and those being tested

In the testing regime, failure must be seen to be the fault of the individual and never the inevitable outcome of the testing regime.

Hidden from view in the testing regime are those who have a sense that the testing regime belongs to them.It exists for them.

Explanations for success outside of the testing regime are always held as mysterious: a special knack or magical ability.

Even when the success outside the testing regime has been based on the ability to exploit people's weaknesses,it's still held out as heroic.

In the testing regime, it is vital that the testers should be distant,mysterious,invisible, god-like, even tho teachers know otherwise.