-By Warner Todd Huston
Employing its best Marxist rhetoric, the Chicago teachers union has created a report that claims that standard testing is nothing but a “tool” of evil corporations. How tests created by governments for government schools have anything to do with “corporations” is anyone’s guess.
The CTU report is amazing for its twisted claims. Check out this conclusion:
Why do corporate interests continue to push towards a test centered public education system that is clearly harmful to students? The reality of their agenda is to align the outputs of public education with the needs of an unequal and highly polarized economic system. The soaring income inequality in recent decades that continues to benefit the upper class has been driven primarily by job polarization.
There has been rapid growth in low skilled low wage work while middle wage jobs are disappearing under global competition. Even jobs requiring post secondary education are driven down into low wage work.
Within such an economic system, for the people who control the majority of wealth and the direction of public policy, large investment in educating the majority of working class children does not make economic sense. As educator Lois Weiner has succinctly put it, global scale Wal-Mart jobs require no more than an 8th grade education.
The missteps of corporate education reformers are not due to their oversight of evidence but are simply cold calculation. If the standards and livelihoods they envision for our children are limited to “McJobs,” it seems they do not need the kinds of inter-disciplinary, authentic project-based learning and critical inquiry that are prevalent in the prestigious schools the privileged send their children to. Teachers and parents have much higher expectations and demands for the public education of all children.
Just look at that dreck. So, a drive to make sure that kids are learning at a similar rate all across the country is nothing but class warfare?
Now, we certainly can talk about the efficacy of standardized testing. I, for one, am far more interested in local control and local control might tend to run contrary to nationalized, standardized testing. But to claim that this is some evil, capitalist plot? Total Marxist rot.
But, that’s the Chicago teachers union for you.