The Biden administration has determined that it will be re-instituting Standardized Testing for public schools across the country. No doubt the effort is led by concerns that kids who have not had access to supplementary educational tools have fallen behind, which are probably valid.
The thesis that if kids, particularly those of less means, have fallen behind and we need to discover that makes sense on the surface, but it’s underlying logic is flawed on further inspection. Let’s assume, for a second, that this is, indeed, the case, which is not a stretch– that kids, particularly those in the public school circuit who have been forced to do distance education or hybrid education at a greater rate than their more privileged peers are behind. One may argue that we need to discover what skills they are lagging in specifically to allocate resources.
However, if we do indeed deductively determine that kids forced into distance and hybrid educations are at a disadvantage, we must assume the reason is because they have less human teaching resources at their disposal. With an internet containing volume upon volume upon volume of knowledge and instruction, they have not been able to do it without the helping hand of a human being guiding them. How could you argue otherwise? What else lacks in a distance learning model that is legitimately argued as the culprit for reduced learning outcomes?
If reduced human resources are, in fact, the shortcoming in public education, in particular, as I would posit, there is really only one solution: allocate more human resources, more teachers, aids, tutors, and educational professionals. Why would we need national standardized tests to establish the obvious conclusions of the pandemic that any kindergartner could point out? This strikes me as a tremendous waste of resources… resources that could be re-routed to the budgets of these schools to hire more personal and provide them more hours.
Sometimes it seems in the pandemic frantic action is the norm to combat the effects of a chaotic disease. Taking a breath and making more rational decisions about matters like where to designated billions of dollars in a educational budget seem more wise.