The Dangers of Standardized Testing

This week, we found an article about standardized testing (and the dangers thereof) from none other than Noam Chomsky. You can read the full article at this link, but we'll give you a short excerpt first:

“The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.. it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.”

We fully agree with this sentiment. In fact, not long ago we wrote a blog post on this subject called: Schools Are Not Designed for Learning which lays out additional arguments for how schools interfere with real learning, beyond just looking at standardized tests.


We also found this wonderful article about a Subury School in France - L'École Dynamique - which perfectly describes the dynamic you'll find at nearly any Sudbury school (certainly at ours). It includes lines like: "[this school] is almost entirely unlike what most of us expect when we hear the word ‘school’. Here, children and staff run the school together." and "The philosophy is one of democratic self-directed education, which has at its heart the principle that learning is most efficient when it is unforced and meaningful to the learner. "

We are so pleased to be a part of the international self-directed Democratic school community, and to read about how our sister schools all across the world are thriving.


This is a quote from one of our graduate parents, Sherry Cure. She wrote an entire blog post about her family's journey to Alpine Valley School, which you can read here. Sherry has also been featured on our podcast on the "Mom's" interview episode. She has so many wonderful things to say, and we are grateful that she chose to share them with us.


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Marc Gallivan