Georg Lind: Standardized Testing is Bad for Education and Bad for Democracy

Here’s another post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog on testing, a topic of pedagogical and political concern here at Mark’s Text Terminal. High stakes tests, I think, have indentured teachers to the corporations which produce them. Moreover, there is little evidence to suggest that these same tests have improved education in the United States, particularly for struggling learners.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Georg Lind is an educational researcher and professor of psychology in a German university who has studied the moral implications of standardized testing. His bio is at the end of this post. He sent me the following short essay on the negative consequences of standardized testing:

Leviathan: The Anti-Democratic Effect of High-Stakes Tests.

We ought to think about high stakes tests in wider contexts than we usually do, namely in the context of human functioning and in the context of human rights and democracy:

(a) All tests which are based on classical test theory (CTT) and its off-springs (e.g., item-response-theory, Rasch-scaling) are essentially statistical artifacts. Their hidden psychology is at odds with our knowledge of psychological processes underlying human behavior. These tests are built on a false postulate which says: each and every human response to a test is determined only by one disposition, namely the competence or personality under…

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