Frank Breslin: Dickens and Standardized Testing

Diane Ravitch's blog

Frank Breslin, retired high school teacher, considers the current obsession with standardized testing in reading and mathematics and laments the neglect of history, foreign languages, science, and everything else that is not tested.

He writes:

“Reading and math, indeed, must be taught, but much more besides — literature, history, science, world languages, music, art, and, in an age of childhood obesity, physical education. But, thanks to this mandate, they no longer are because they no longer are tested.

“Even the restorative elixir of play and recess so vital to children is often omitted, so frantic are teachers at not having enough time to cover the testable material of reading and math. The result is an alarming narrowing both of curriculum and of children’s minds by this relentless barrage of testing and test preparation.

“But this has also had an overlooked, though no less pernicious, effect on students, not just by…

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