On August 17, 2013, the Associated Press (AP) announced that a survey they conducted in June and July 2013 found that not only do parents really like standardized tests– they approve of the high-stakes usage of such tests and believe that the number of standardized tests administered is “about right”:
Often criticized as too prescriptive and all-consuming, standardized tests have support among parents, who view them as a useful way to measure both students’ and schools’ performances, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Most parents also say their own children are given about the right number of standardized tests, according to the AP-NORC poll.
The release of this propaganda is certainly strategic timing given the recent New York debacle of Mayor Bloomberg’s aligning Common Core assessments to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and flunking most New York schoolchildren by design.
It is also interesting to note that at the same time the AP was conducting its survey, the Texas legislature finally heeded to parent pressure to reduce the annual number of standardized tests in Texas high schools from 15 to 5.
Nevertheless, according to AP, parents are fine with both the frequency and usage of standardized tests.
The AP report is a carefully crafted lie designed to promote an educational system that is high-stakes, standardized-test dependent at the expense of authentic teaching and learning.
Let us first consider who is purchasing this AP survey: The Joyce Foundation. Here is how the AP report spins Joyce Foundation involvement in their “research”:
The survey was sponsored by the Joyce Foundation, which works to promote policies that improve the quality of teachers, including the development of new teacher evaluation systems, enhance early reading reforms and encourage innovation in public schools. [Emphasis added.]
The Joyce Foundation wants to judge teachers using standardized tests. On the tabulated survey results, the wording for Joyce Foundation “sponsorship” is more to the point:
Conducted and funded by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research With major funding from the Joyce Foundation [Emphasis added.]
President Obama belonged to the Joyce Foundation board of directors from 1994 to 2002. Obama made it a requirement that states seeking Race to the Top funding must agree to evaluate teachers using student standardized test scores.
So here we have a “study” that finds parents in favor of what Obama wants, a study that just happens to have “major funding” from a reform organization to which Obama has close ties.