Yong Zhao has an interesting series of posts on how cheating scandals around standardized tests are growing and becoming, for all intents, an important part of the why we should get rid of them argument.
The evidence is clear. Test-score cheating is not isolated to Atlanta, Baltimore, and a few other schools, as testing proponents tend to suggest. It is not a problem that can be fixed with technical measures such as tightened security. It may be human nature but it is the high and unreasonable pressure of high-stakes standardized testing that leads to corruption. Thus, we cannot minimize the problem, trivialize potential solutions, or blame a few educators who have been caught. The Atlanta scandal should serve as a wake-up call to all of us, especially to those who continue to promote testing as a necessary and effective way to improve education.
He goes on to summarize the other reasons why we should get rid of the test in terms of the other “costs” to both budgets and psyches.
A number of states are now moving their testing over onto computers in the next few years, and I’m already hearing that “it won’t be as easy to cheat” when that happens. Doubtful. The incentives to cheat have been made stronger, not reduced by the recent Race to the Top stupidity.
Anyway, all five parts of this series are well worth the read.