We know that, for the most part, children begin life with an exhuberant sense of curiosity. Unfortunately, they slowly lose this over the course of their school years. It is quite likely that they lose their love of learning because of their schooling. As children begin their schooling the presumption is that there are certain subjects the students will simply have to be forced to learn. So, as their engagement and enthusiasm for schooling diminishes the coercion has to increase to yield any results.
In a recent example of this coercion the Secretary of Education has said that parents who opt their kids out of standardized testing will have to be forced to comply with the testing regime (http://menrec.com/education-secretary-threatens-parents-who-opt-out-implies-its-racist/) Is this really something to be proud of?
Our education is so uninspiring that we already have to coerce kids to attend and when any of them try to express their freedom and opt out we respond with more coercion. Nice. What evidence is there that this kind of coercion, or indeed any kind of coercion, is helpful to a child's educartion?
Part of the problem with education is the continued obsessive testing and measuring that has been imposed. It should come as no surprise that many are resisting this as it does little to enhance a love of learning. What it does is inspire teaching to the test and it encourages the view that the entire point of learning is to pass exams. Again, this is really something to be proud of? Hardly.
As I've said before, students are not data points. Students are people. But, we continue to treat students as mere numbers to be counted, tallied, measured, and assessed.
From the article linked above:
"Duncan maintained the Obama Administration’s position that standardized tests are crucial for both tracking students’ progress and keeping tabs on the achievement gaps between certain groups."
Tracking and keeping tabs. Why don't we just literally tag students at an early age and track them as scientists do for animal species in the wild that they want to study? And, what will we be teaching out students as we do this? What are we already teaching them with their coercive, obsessive emphasis on measurement and testing? Sure, maybe we're getting some useful data from them. Maybe. But, at what cost?