When I speak about the material in Unschooling Rules, I almost inevitably get the question, "if you don't believe in standardized testing, how can we possibly evaluate teachers and students?" (#unrules45)
This statement is, fully un-ironically, such a tacit critique of all of school systems that it cannot go unexplored and unpacked.
Just some of the assumptions are:
- Families are not/cannot/ should not be able to choose their own path once in school systems. (Many parents today makes more choices about their coffee than their childrens' K-12 education.) So unlike in a free market system or democracy, choice by user is not a relevant tool for determining success.
- There are no external, real world metrics to evaluate how well schools and teachers are doing. In fact, the real world is the enemy to a smooth running educational system, putting uncontrollable variables into schools. This then further encourages schools to expand (at massive taxpayer cost, of course) to replace life as much as possible as early as possible and for as long as possible to improve the purity of the test results (http://www.educationnews.org/ed_reports/edu_assoc_articles/153528.html).
- Students are consistent test takers week to week.
- School management cannot be trusted to manage.
- Students should all learn the same material. There is one way of "winning" for students.
- The content in (and process of taking) standardized tests are an accurate and relatively complete microcosm of valuable and valued content.