On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver the debate over standardized testing in America was examined through a satirical lens which picked apart the shortcomings of an organization too reliant on unreliable testing. John Oliver used his brand of humor, a few well placed news clips, and the irony of an accountability system which fails to hold itself accountable to expose a system of testing and evaluation in our country that has fallen well short of the phrase “No Child Left Behind.”
I thought this video would be a great edition to a blog about Evaluation and Performance Measures because it provides a brief overview of why we have become so reliant on testing and how the testing data is being used. The sweeping reforms happening around the country, in part, represent the results of the collection and analyzing of this data. The education system in America is under scrutiny and in recent years has been a major hotspot of political controversy. John Oliver makes a few great points about how this change in education is actually affecting the students it intends to help, and more importantly, who it is really helping; namely, Pearson. For all of the billion’s we have spent on testing, 40% of it going to Pearson alone, we have failed to hold the testing system itself accountable. We have not only failed to improve, but in many cases, in the thirteen years since we have implemented “No Child Left Behind” and the accompanying standardized tests, we have actually slipped in global test scores.
The overall message Oliver delivers is really driven home by the end of the video. We must recognize that our system has not worked (the data does not lie) and we must make efforts to change it.
This clip is funny, a little vulgar at times, informative and infuriating, but definitely worth the watch.