This post from Anthony Cody basically sums up my feelings about the rise of standardized testing in our nation’s system. I’m not sure why the policy pundits expect academia to just “roll over and take it,” but I do feel the pressure, as a teacher educator, to prepare teachers for the teaching world they are about to enter.
This “groupthink” winds up pulling teacher educators in two oppositional directions. I spend time teaching my pre-service teachers about the Common Core and standardized testing, what’s on those tests, and how they impact students’ futures (and their futures as teachers). They worry about making sure their future students’ test scores are high enough, because they’ll lose their jobs if those scores are too low. So we have those discussions. We also have discussions about how to meaningfully construct a unit plan around multiple layered texts, about incorporating digital media into the writing life of the classroom, and about real measures of student reading comprehension (not multiple-choice measures).
The teacher educator in me winds up in a tug-of-war with herself. The “schools of education” that are “nothing but resistant” are finding themselves continually conflicted by the groupthink of national educational policy on a regular basis, which (as Cody points out), is in such direct conflict with what we know to be good teaching and good policy. Hopefully, that bubble will indeed burst.