I’m not celebrating. The news reminded me of that old punch line, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” Since raising standardized test scores officially became the sole goal of education, our school has gone a long way toward transforming itself into a combination test-prep center and obedience school. In my opinion, it’s a worse school than it was even five years ago -- worse in terms of providing a humane, intellectually stimulating, emotionally healthy environment for a kid to spend years in. But hey, the standardized test scores are looking good, and that’s all that matters, right?
I’m afraid the kids are learning these lessons even better than they’re learning math and reading skills:
Learning is boring.I’m not surprised that no one ever tests the schools’ effectiveness at inculcating those beliefs. Never ask a question that you don’t want to know the answer to.
Intellectual activity is something you would never choose to do voluntarily.
Adults are there to judge you and boss you around.
Being good means being quiet and obedient.
You will get in trouble if you argue with or question an authority figure.
You should believe everything you are told.
Kids aren’t really full-fledged people. (Maybe some other groups aren’t full-fledged people either.)
The reason to be well-behaved is to get rewards.
It is more effective to bribe people than to reason with them.
Your own interests, desires, and inner life are unimportant; what’s important is what others expect from you.