CRF Blog

Pencils Down

by Bill Hayes

In Pencils Down for the New York Times Book Review, Dana Goldstein reviews The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — But You Don’t Have to Be by Anya Kamenetz.

Teachers and their unions have resisted standardized testing since the early 20th century. Their critics have claimed they do so because they fear being held accountable for how much children learn. But over the past few years, on both the right and the left, in scattered suburbs and in urban neighborhoods, a small yet growing group of parents have begun to join teachers in denouncing standardized testing. They complain about the narrowing of the school curriculum to the questions asked on high-stakes exams, the many hours and days — sometimes up to a quarter of the school year — spent testing and prepping for tests, and the stress that testing imposes on children. Some parents even have their children opt out of standardized testing altogether. [more]