NAEP to Psychologically Profile Students On 2017 Test

Jul 14, 2016 by


By Carole H. Haynes –

John Stuart Mill, called the “most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century,” characterized government schools in his 1859 treatise On Liberty.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.

In American public schools, teachers are required to move in lockstep on daily lessons regardless of the needs of their young charges. The purpose is to prepare students for standardized tests required by the federal government with the results being used for federally mandated accountability to rank, rate, and label students.

The primary focus of public education has shifted from academic (cognitive) to nonacademic (non-cognitive) which is also evidenced in the new federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act, and has been noted publicly by several members of Congress.

This new focus is further evidenced in the actions of the National Assessments Governing Board (NAGB) which is planning to assess non-academic social and emotional “mindsets” such as “grit” as well as school climate in the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often dubbed the “nation’s report card.” NAEP is the nationwide testing program of the U.S. Department of Education.

NAEP will conduct psychological research on students via what is supposed to be an academic test. Because of the weakened federal privacy law — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) — sensitive data that is collected on students can be shared with agencies of the federal government as well as third parties.

Our centrally planned education system has now evolved to that which philosopher Mill described — “a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another.”

For decades there has been an endless stream of education reforms, each with new layers of bureaucracy and each promising to improve our government schools. For over 180 years reform has eluded reformers who contend that it’s merely a factor of more time and more money until all students achieve 100 percent literacy — “equal outcome.” That’s a liberal’s daydream. With continued federal control over content, testing, and accountability, literacy will continue the downward slide.

School choice critics are sounding an alarm that school choice will be the death knell of public education. However, if the focus of public education is to psychologically profile children and “mould” them according to the government’s persuasion rather than providing them an academic education, then it is to be expected that parents will want to exit the public system.

Parents who want a full liberal arts curriculum for their child should have the right to exit the public system and use per-pupil public funding for a school of their choice.

An Education Savings Account will provide that option for parents.

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