Download A Measure of Failure: The Political Origins of Standardized by Mark J. Garrison PDF

By Mark J. Garrison

Asks how and why standardized assessments became the ever-present ordinary during which academic success and intelligence are measured.

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Additional resources for A Measure of Failure: The Political Origins of Standardized Testing

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For example, how does the reader respond to this: My ruler is valid to the degree to which it measures length. Is it normal practice to validate a ruler by asking this seemingly circular question? Rulers by definition measure length. Possibly more important here is the fact that by asking what a test measures the assumption that something is being measured goes unchallenged. The importance of theory is revealed in sorting this out for in reality a ruler is a standard of length, just as my forearm, the meter, and the inch are standards of length.

Power, Equality, and the Standardization of Measures Standardization has several meanings in the context of education. One notion is simply that all students are treated equally throughout the testing situation and given the same test. The results of the test are rendered using the same scoring rubric. ” The aim of standardized educational assessment is to compare students to the same standard (equality before the law). Giving rich and poor kids the same test is a reflection of the egalitarian movement as it developed in the West, and, of course, reveals the The Nature and Function of Standards 19 limits of that movement.

Constitution made this presumption when it rendered African slaves and Native peoples as only holding a fraction of the value of white Europeans. Such designations were based on the claim that some human beings have less in- Standardized Tests as Markers of Social Value 35 telligence, ability, or otherwise valued attribute, than other human beings, and on that basis, they were rendered less human, of less value, and, in some cases, a threat to civilization itself. Such designations served to justify inequalities and crimes associated with slavery, colonialism, and capitalism.

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