I am passionately against tests in schools and our current obsession with them as the means to produce the ideal education.
I have argued that they prove nothing, are divisive, that they narrow the curriculum and are used as weapons against so-called “underperforming schools” and have led to student stress, teacher stress and much more in personal terms for people who are just trying to get an education that allows them to fulfill their potential or are the agents for motivating and coordinating these students.
The people who do not agree with me seem to wield the power. I am up against Governments and capitalist billionaires like Bill Gates, so what chance do I have of effecting the way things will go?
Well, I could carry on the fight and write more and more of these posts that will be appreciated by the similarly minded people to myself who tend to read these posts. Or I could take a different approach. I could give up. I could say.. you have the power, you have the media, you dictate the agenda and therefore I will let you win.
If I do let them win and indeed if all of us critics let the so-called “Reformers” win, then what will we see? Well, there is a side of me that says, let’s see…. if they win we will live in this great new “Utopia” of severely tested students and the teachers fighting harder and harder to achieve the results.
Will it happen? Will the results go up, will the children be prepared for life in the digital age, will the U.K., The U.S.A., Canada etc., really become ultra-competitive and will the innovation really happen? Well, we shall, as they say, see.
I can stand back and see the results and, if they have been wrong all along, I can have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so!”
But what of the victims, the teachers who would have left the profession in tatters because they are considered failures? The children who have been ill-prepared for a world that is ever-changing? How will I be able to enjoy my moment of satisfaction at knowing that I was right and that the “Reformers” were wrong knowing that their world is broken and that our society is suffering.
Education does matter and the fight is worth continuing… it is not about just me, so, although I would love to have a smugness that comes from being able to say “I told you so” I need to stand shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues and friends who are fighting against the madness that is testing to destruction and boring the children to death.
There is another way and we just have to keep telling people that there is.