How Testing Is Destroying Education

Jeff Bryant, in Nation of Change, has presenting a good argument for re-thinking our focus on testing as the true measure of the effectiveness of teaching. This is an old argument of mine and this article makes some excellent points that I will add to my arsenal.

testingHow Test Obsession Is Killing Education

Jeff Bryant, Nation of Change

Decisions to pass or fail students, rate teacher “ineffective” or “effective,” even keep schools open or close them down are now being made to an ever-increasing extent based on scores.

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A Note From Angela Davis

RacismIt can be confidently argued that the Bush presidency was enabled precisely by the relegation of a large, majority black population of “free” individuals to the status of civil death. George W. Bush “won” the Florida elections in 2000 by a tiny margin of 537 votes. As Congressman John Conyers has pointed out, the fact that 600,000 ex-felons were denied participation in the elections in the state of Florida alone “may have literally changed the history of this nation.” We might thus argue that the deep structural life of racism in the U.S. prison system gave us the president who articulated the collective fears linked to a psychic historical reservoir of racism in order to wage wars on the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq under the guise of combating terror.

From Chapter 10 of The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis.

Armed Forces 101: Urinating

When I was in High School there were a dozen or more boys that you suspected would bite the head off a chicken without flinching. That was the time when the surfers competed with the greasers for attention. Greasers, also known as Bikers or Pachucos, tended to opt for a DA with plenty of butch wax and a Chevvy with Hollywood glass packs and a Tijuana tuck interior (not to be confused with the band Butch Wax and the Glasspacks). One of my good friends was a greaser. He wore bell-bottom jeans (not common then unless you were a sailor) with a wedge cut out at the ankle to make them even wider and tied together with a long rawhide strip. I have two remembrances of this bad boy:  first, he had the same name as another student who was just the average teenager, and second, it was not unusual to see him after the weekend showing up at school with one (once even two) of  his hands in a short cast: but you should-a seen the other guy!

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