Thursday, June 20, 2019

Walking Away From High Stakes Tests, A Noble Lie | Cloaking Inequity

Walking Away From High Stakes Tests, A Noble Lie | Cloaking Inequity

WALKING AWAY FROM HIGH STAKES TESTS, A NOBLE LIE
From Wikipedia: A noble lie is a myth or untruth, told by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda. The noble lie is a concept originated by Plato as described in the Republic. Plato presented the noble lie in a fictional tale— Socrates provides the origin of the three social classes who compose the republic proposed by Plato:
. . . the earth, as being their mother, delivered them, and now, as if their land were their mother and their nurse, they ought to take thought for her and defend her against any attack, and regard the other citizens as their brothers and children of the self-same earth. . . While all of you, in the city, are brothers, we will say in our tale, yet god, in fashioning those of you who are fitted to hold rule, mingled gold in their generation, for which reason they are the most precious — but in the helpers, silver, and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen. And, as you are all akin, though for the most part you will breed after your kinds, it may sometimes happen that a golden father would beget a silver son, and that a golden offspring would come from a silver sire, and that the rest would, in like manner, be born of one another. So that the first and chief injunction that the god lays upon the rulers is that of nothing else are they to be such careful guardians, and so intently observant as of the intermixture of these metals in the souls of their offspring, and if sons are born to them with an infusion of brass or iron they shall by no means give way to pity in their treatment of them, but shall assign to each the status due to his nature and thrust them out among the artisans or the farmers. And again, if from these there is born a son with unexpected gold or silver in his composition they shall honor such and bid them go up higher, some to the office of guardian, some to the assistanceship, alleging that there is an oracle that the city shall then be overthrown when the man of iron or brass is its guardian.
High-stakes tests are a noble lie. (See all of CI’s posts on high-stakes testing here)
mentioned on Cloaking Inequity an academic paper about NAEP testing pre and post-NCLB by Sean Reardon, a Stanford Professor, presented at an Accountability conference in Rome a few months ago. He found our national NAEP improvement was more rapid prior to the implementation of NCLB. Furthermore, high-stakes tests have only inched us towards closing the achievement gap. At the rate of nationwide improvement we have seen over the past decade on the NAEP and state-mandated criterion-referenced tests, he found it will take us 80 more years to close the achievement gap. Remember with much ado that Bush and Kennedy said the achievement gaps would be closed by NCLB in 2014? It will not happen. What was Texas’, the birthplace of NCLB, response to this failure? We have tripled CONTINUE READING: Walking Away From High Stakes Tests, A Noble Lie | Cloaking Inequity



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