Slowly, but ever so surely, those in the media are realizing that criticism of No Child Left Behind and the national Common Core system is not limited to the far right and the far left. It is a mainstream movement driven by parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens.
Last weekend, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver spent eighteen minutes taking on standardized testing. You can view the full video below (warning: NSFW language):
Oliver pointed out President Obama’s contradictions on standardized testing. When he had his eye on the Democratic nomination, then Senator Obama was quick on the draw to criticize standardized testing:
Don’t tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of a year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles on a standardized test. We know that’s not true!
–Sen. Barack Obama, 2007 in a speech to the National Education Association.
Yet, as Oliver noted, upon becoming President, Obama “didn’t get rid of tests. Instead, he added his own education initiatives like Race to the Top, which encouraged states to adopt the Common Core.”
Oliver tackled how Common Core and standardized testing are unfair to teachers and bad for students, and how American children have actually lost ground on international education metrics since the enactment of No Child Left Behind. And he noted that waves of children are boycotting the tests.
He could have delved a bit more into the “why.”