Hi Mitchell, this is (as far as I know) my own set of ideas and the objections to using tests are uniquely US because of its history of racist bias. But even in the USA tests are everywhere because our complex modern world requires competence. When tests are transparent and there are mechanisms for continuous improvement, it becomes very difficult to rig tests in favor of one or more special interests. Norway and the Baltic states are good examples of how transparency makes it very difficult to play the kinds of games routinely played in the USA. It’s difficult, I think, to be against testing anonymously & transparently for competence and in favor of retaining the status quo when today in the USA there’s so much gerrymandering and so many neo-Jim Crow laws being created by Republican politicians across so many Southern States. The current system is so broken that the only reason people feel anxious about testing is because (i) they’re ignoring how atrocious reality is, and (ii) we all hate change imposed on us. But I acknowledge we can’t get to there from here. Only after everything is in ruins can a new system be built, because it will arise from a condition in which nearly everyone has already lost nearly everything, and so there won’t be as much resistance to trying something new. At least that’s my hope. My fear is that we’ll just repeat the mistakes of today all over again because it seems we rarely learn anything from history.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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