Obama Administration Appears To Change Tune On Endless Testing

October 24, 2015

So after seven years of reckless and ignorant force feeding tests to millions of American school children at the cost of billons to American taxpayers;
seven years of increasingly emaciated education, stressed out students, outraged parents, and the systemic degradation of teaching and teachers from coast to coast, the Obama administration arrive at the same conclusion that sane and sensitive people instinctively knew must occur the moment they grasped the intentions behind Race to the Top: this is a mistake.

That is to put it very diplomatically.

Yet even as I am happy to read that the Obama administration seems to be beginning to come to grips with reality in terms of its radical neo-liberal education policy, I cannot help but take a serious wait and see attitude toward today’s surprise announcement. The historical disconnect between what Obama has said he would do and what Obama has done is too consistent to give the man’s words any credence. Even assuming the Obama administration means what it says — an assumption, I, for one am not prepared to make — the potential billions to be made by testing companies will insure that their servants in Congress and state houses across the country will fight to keep this gravy train going as long as they possibly can.

That said, I must hope that this marks the beginning of the end for this sorrowful and sick period in American education which has produced almost nothing for students but suffering and a cheap facsimile of an education at the same time it has demonized teachers, exculpated a predatory economic system and provided endless distraction from a political system in an advanced stage of complete moral and intellectual degeneracy.

Of course, given this state of degeneracy, this announcement could also be nothing more than a ruse intending to deceive a battered public while allowing those who forced this madness on this nation to appear responsive and reasonable as they plan their next move in the privatization of the public school system.

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8 Responses to “Obama Administration Appears To Change Tune On Endless Testing”

  1. ciedie aech Says:

    Once when I thought to help a neighbor who was slowly working his wheelchair up the long hill to our apartment complex, I blustered my way in to “helping” him by enthusiastically taking over the back of his chair and pushing him quickly along the way. It wasn’t until we had rounded a corner and gone halfway up the hill that he asked me to stop. In my blind enthusiasm I had missed the fact that he had lost control of his feet and they were now dragging backward along the concrete walk. This is how I see Obama and all of our long years of educational reform. There as so many “do-gooders” out there who are simply screwing everything up in their blind inability to slow down and actually deal with the true needs of students and teachers.

    • patrickwalsh Says:

      Nice analogy, Ciedie, but it is my belief that there were more sinister motive at work

      • ciedie aech Says:

        Yes, you are absolutely right — so many sinister motives (greed mostly? but surely social elitism and racism as well?) come into play with the NCLB/R2T dictates of educational reform. The disconnected blindness imposed by those who would “save” poor children, however, has hogtied me, the teacher, over and over again. I keep finding myself victim to an ongoing lineup of outsiders — whoever they might be — who simply feel the need to jump up onto the school-reform bandwagon and “fix” me.

  2. dolphin Says:

    Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    I’m in the wait-and-see camp. Been disappointed too many times and there are too many education profiteers with dollar signs in their eye when they look at the kids…

  3. Michele Hamilton Says:

    Patrick, I appreciate your desire to believe things are going to change but I think we should go with your last paragraph. This is a ruse and so typical of Obama. It’s like going to Alaska to discuss the dire need to address climate change all the while supporting drilling for oil off the East Coast.

    • patrickwalsh Says:

      I cannot argue against your logic. The man and his administration is wholly untrustworthy.


      • They certainly are untrustworthy as far as education goes. Parents are opting out, so they’re going through mouth movements, but there’s nothing specific about real change. They just want schools to only give the PAARC or whatever tests, instead of all the rest schools give. They still want standardized tests to be used to rank and stack schools and teachers, so there’s no change. They’re still listening to business-oriented educational amateurs instead of to teachers, the actual practicing professional educators. So nothing’s going to change. As you say in your last paragraph, they’re just trying to look responsive and reasonable.

  4. Arthur Goldstein Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. in education, Obama has been an unmitigated disaster for our country and our children. He has searched relentlessly for the very worst people and found them. And neither he nor his Gates-approved boobs, Duncan and King, send their kids to schools that utilize the policies they’ve imposed on ours.


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