Failure of the Standards Movement – Research and Opinion by Larry Stedman

Pernicious Audit Culture

  • Standards-based accountability systems embody what Michael Apple calls a pernicious “audit culture” that emphasizes enumeration and regulation. It has turned learning into a commodity. Curiosity is suffocated and professional learning communities degenerate into “data teams” and “data huddles.” Students are drilled for the next test and remediated for the last one. As the philosopher Kenneth Strike reminds us, centralized standards threaten liberty and undermine community. They provide few options for autonomy or for regional and variable standards. We end up with what Susan Ohanian has called a “one size fits few” system.
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