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ERIC Number: ED517705
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 152
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-4384-2777-5
A Measure of Failure: The Political Origins of Standardized Testing
Garrison, Mark J.
SUNY Press
How did standardized tests become the measure of performance in our public schools? In this compelling work, Mark J. Garrison attempts to answer this question by analyzing the development of standardized testing, from the days of Horace Mann and Alfred Binet to the current scene. Approaching the issue from a sociohistorical perspective, the author demonstrates the ways standardized testing has been used to serve the interests of the governing class by attaching a performance-based value to people and upholding inequality in American society. The book also discusses the implications that a restructuring of standardized testing would have on the future of education, specifically what it could do to eliminate the measure of individual worth based on performance. Contents of this book include: (1) A Measure of Failure; (2) The Nature and Function of Standards; (3) Academic Achievement and Ability as Forms of Vertical Classification; (4) Standardized Tests as Markers of Social Value; (5) The Rise of Public Education: The Impulse to Mark Achievement and Ability; (6) Achievement Testing: The Case of Horace Mann; (7) Intelligence Testing: The Case of Alfred Binet; (8) Political Origins of Testing; and (9) The Failure of Testing. Notes, references, and an index are also included.
SUNY Press. State University of New York, 22 Corporate Woods Boulevard 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12211. Tel: 866-430-7869; Tel: 518-472-5000; Fax: 518-472-5038; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A