HIGH STAKES: Standardized Testing Creates ‘Toxic Environment’ in Schools, Professor Says

To Southeastern Louisiana University Education Professor James D. Kirylo, standardized testing has facilitated “an incredibly toxic environment in our schools and in our discourse about education, ultimately turning schools from learning centers to testing factories.”

That emphasis on standardized testing has corrupted the focus on learning, he added, turning school-aged children into “experimental pawns.”

“No doubt, the stakes are perversely high,” said Kirylo, who writes prolifically about schools and education. “These singular tests determine, presumably, whether or not students are learning; whether or not teachers are effective; whether or not students will be subjected to boring skill and drill summer sessions; whether or not they will pass on to the next grade level; and ultimately how schools are rated. Likewise, teachers and principals will be faced with either job insecurity or celebrated with public praise.”



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