Since the 2002 implementation of No Child Left Behind, the American public education system has been fundamentally changed. Excessive testing, standardized curriculums, destructive demands on children, corporate-style evaluations, and top-down mandates have become the norm. In response, record numbers of demoralized educators have quit, and millions of students have been left educationally impoverished. This troubling transformation has been exhaustively critiqued by scholars and commentators. Yet one crucial voice has been missing.
In Testing Education, Kathy Greeley recounts the impact of education reform from a teacher’s point of view. Based on a teaching career ranging nearly forty years, Greeley details how schools went from learning communities infused with excitement, intellectual stimulation, and joy to sterile spaces of stress, intimidation, and fear. In this ultimately hopeful memoir, Greeley asks us to learn from the past to reimagine the future of public education.
“Kathy Greeley tells the story of how politicians inflicted grievous damage on America’s schools, teachers, and students with their mandates and ill-considered laws. Because of her long experience in the classroom, she vividly remembers what it was like to teach in the days before high-stakes standardized testing, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top. She remembers the freedom she had to engage her students in projects that called forth their creativity and imagination. To revive the spirited learning in our classrooms, we need her book to remind us what real teaching and learning looks like.”—Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Greeley gives a rare insider’s look at the devastation wrought by corporate ed reform. Spanning a nearly forty-year career in urban schools, Testing Education is a searing exposé on the damage these policies continue to inflict. This is a must-read for people interested in understanding what public schools have consequently lost—and how to rebuild them into vibrant democratic institutions.”—Deborah Meier, coauthor of Beyond Testing: Seven Assessments of Students and Schools More Effective Than Standardized Tests
“I loved this book. Greeley is an excellent storyteller with a compelling tale about the marvelous possibilities of teacher-led schools. It will interest educators, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned about the health of our education system.”—James Nehring, author of The Practice of School Reform: Lessons from Two Centuries and professor of leadership in schooling at the University of Massachusetts Lowell
“A unique and powerful perspective on recent education reforms. Everyone who likes Diane Ravitch’s books will find Testing Education a compelling read.”—Derek Gottlieb, author of A Democratic Theory of Educational Accountability: From Test-Based Assessment to Interpersonal Responsibility