Assessments, Attitude Adjustments and Testing Double Speak

Assessments, Attitude Adjustments and Testing Double Speak

Assessments, Surveys, Evaluations and Tests..

To be or not to be,

What are Thee–And what will you make of me? 

Keeping track of the double speak these days requires a Foreword with a list of characters much akin to reading Dostoevsky, Chekhov or any other Russian author. On that note, how coincidental is it, that education in America increasingly reflects that of Russia?

Could it be that the same template of socialism is being cut and pasted in cubicles, classrooms and boardrooms across America?

Our latest education core-uption marries elements of the Prussian tiered system with the Socialist Marxists in a union not sanctioned in heaven. On the contrary, these troops join ranks marching down the well-worn path to an engineered proletariat managed by Global Central Planners controlled by the Connected Elite.

Back to the Russian Czars of double speak, and the divine right of kings?

At any rate, why is there such a dogged commitment to certain double speak phrases such as:

Workforce Development; College and Career Ready; Global Competencies; Student Outcomes; SAT and ACT Seamless alignment to “higher education”, no “remediation” required…etc.?

While at the same time, the double speakers, tout such phrases as:

School Choice, State Sovereignty, citizen led, local district autonomy, and job skills remediation Funding grants requiring Federally aligned infrastructures?

Like a horse with a pedigree, (and our Russian characters,) there’s always the friendly barn name and the lineage names.

But a horse is still a horse, and the manure still stinks, regardless of which title was used to address the faithful equine friend or the stealth enemy steed.


“Upon this Empire, as upon Rome,

Calamity has at last fallen.

A host of intellectual barbarians has burst in upon it,

And has occupied by force the length and breadth of it.”

W. H. Mallock in: Is Life Worth Living?

Which brings us to the double speak of Assessments and Assessment Schemes.The means to the ends of Attitude Adjustments. Getting folks to love their servitude, step in line and march in time.

Attitudes are evaluated, measured and altered via the use of direct and indirect Assessments.

This is the goal of education, as we know it today. Creating a shapeable gumbee who will easily be conformed to the ever-changing labor needs i.e. 21st Century Global Competencies, College and Career Ready laborers.

Ahh yes…As trusting honest citizens, most of us assume that when Junior is participating in “Assessment Testing”, that Junior is being asked to respond to knowledge based inquiries such as: the sum of two numbers, historical contributions of the Presidents of the United States, or the volume of a known gas, under a specified pressure at 3000 degrees Kelvin.

But alas, Assessment Testing is accomplishing much more than assessing mere cognitive absolutes, academic knowledge or the abilities to apply a proven formula.

Assessment testing employed today, presents a smorgasbord of “information”, ideologies, and opinions; and incorporates layers of inquiries used to evaluate and shape the students’ affective characteristics.

Affect is the term used to describe: an individual’s observable behavior, emotions or feelings,

Literally a person’s inner being. Affective components in assessment testing include characteristics and behaviors signifying:

Motivation, attitude toward learning, autonomy, anxiety, disposition, values, beliefs, tenacity, perseverance, tolerance, and malleability.

For many of us, this is clearly the realm of psychology; a far stretch from reading, writing and arithmetic. Reading, Writing, arithmetic, factual knowledge, and proven sciences are what most parents have entrusted teachers, school boards, and administers to administer.

Most parents did not enroll Junior to be under Freud, Dewey, Skinner, Vygotsky and a host of other Darwinian Socialist-minded psychologists turned loose on the colleges, educators, education and the children of America.

Assessments evaluate attitudes, behaviors and cognition in both direct and indirect fashion.

Direct is what most folks expect; A straightforward question.

“How do you feel today?” “What bugs you about your parents?” “Are you doing drugs?”

Of course direct assessment has the disadvantage of having the person know you are asking them the question and, if they choose, they can purposely avoid a direct answer.

They have a choice.

In a self-governing society where individuals have rights to privacy and personal intellectual property, this would seem desirable. Especially, if parents are not present to authorize such personal lines of interrogation;

Freedom of Speech or “I plead the Fourth and the Fifth Amendments.”

(These amendments are helpful to exercise with socialized medicine as well. Just because someone behind a desk hands you a clipboard, does not mean you must answer all their inquiries, hand over your driver’s license, fill in all the blanks and sign in agreement to all the concessions listed. Start asking for bids before being so willing to divulge and sign consent forms.)

Since folks can spot a direct interrogation and recall the question to alert parents, the Assessment vampires have resorted to more Indirect means of accomplishing their Attitude Changes.

Indirect Assessment means include: Computer testing, Adaptive Computer testing, paper testing with suggestive questioning; embedded formative Assessments using computer video games; or digital media testing in which scenarios are presented which require the student to make decisions and gain rewards based upon prior responses, desired responses, strategy changes, resistance techniques, or a host of other subjectively rated responses, behaviors or ‘answers’ to the testing scenarios, story problems, essay readings or inquiries.

All the while the student’s responses are providing a wealth of crowd sourcing data to learn patterns, and gain insights as to how to create Attitude Adjustments in the next crop of e-learning and Assessment victims.

Consider the wealth of affective information that can be gleaned by a sample text or informational text reading and the comments and questions following that reading. A student reads a piece on a topic such as: green earth worship; meditation and relaxation; diet choices; oppressionism theory; political bias; faith, family or marriage issues and is then asked to respond to a line of inquiry.

What if the opinion of the text author is in clear opposition to that of the student?

The assessment vampires can gage if the student resists; the level of resistance; how quickly the student crumbled and caved to politically correct; if they stayed consistent in their compromise …and if they continued the compromise for future lines of inquiry, if they repented and felt guilty in a later line of questioning or if they just sped through and had a ball wreaking mind havoc on the data mongers. (Yes!!! A resistor!)

Indirect testing and adjusting of Attitudes, (emotions, behaviors, and feelings-Affect) in this way introduces an entire world of unethical behavior on the part of Testing Consortia, Administrators, and those accessing this open-to-all data freeway.

These Indirect assessment methods involve projective techniques, which are often incomplete and ambiguous. These indirect techniques require subjective interpretation and many assumptions on both the parts of the student and those interpreting the test data.

The Federal government requires states and schools receiving education Title funding under a host of federal programs to participate in Assessment testing, consisting primarily of two Consortia: PARCC (The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and SBAC (SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium).

Both of these Assessment Consortia are funded by the Federal government and other interested parties such as the Gates Foundation. Interestingly enough, WestEd, who facilitates Indiana’s recent double speak, is the Project Manager for SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, as well as Indiana’s PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention System) Surveys. Certainly does not appear they are impartial or objective.

The whole Assessment of Affect is extremely subjective and openly criticized for lack of objectivity. Just like any “science”, and especially those of the psychology realm, the interpretation is entirely up to the Worldview and goals of the scientist/psychologist designing, implementing, cataloging, and conducting statistical analyses on the responses.

Like Gumbee, Assessment testing and the students undergoing such testing are putty in the hands of those who fund, design, gather and use the data.

All education, all assessment testing shapes worldview, and is therefore of a religious nature. Just depends on whose religious worldview is doing the shaping.

“Upon this Empire, as upon Rome,

Calamity has at last fallen.

A host of intellectual barbarians has burst in upon it,

And has occupied by force the length and breadth of it.

The result has been astounding.

Had the invaders been barbarians only, they might have been repelled easily; but they were barbarians armed with the most powerful weapons of civilization. They were a phenomenon new to history:

They showed us real knowledge in the hands of ignorance; and the work of the combination thus far has been ruin, not reorganization. Few great movements at the beginning have been conscious of their own true tendency; but no great movement has mistaken it like modern Positivism*.” 

W.H. Mallock in Is Life Worth Living? 

Bottom line, as Mallock notes, is that

Morality and happiness cannot subsist without the foundation of supernatural religion.

When man loses sight of moral ends, his degradation commences.

Consider that as your child undergoes Assessments, Surveys, and Education double speak that will shape their Attitudes, their Worldview and their Eternity…

And, as the central planners orchestrate processes utilizing Federally infected funds for adult job skills “remediation” to swell the ranks and build allegiance of the socialized proletariat laborforce…..building allegiance and dependence on whom? 


The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

Is Life Worth Living? By W. H. Mallock


Positivism: Comte offered an account of social evolution, proposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general ‘law of three stages’. The idea bears some similarity to Marx‘s view that human society would progress toward a communist peak. This is perhaps unsurprising as both were profoundly influenced by the early Utopian socialist, Henri de Saint-Simon, who was at one time Comte’s mentor. Both Comte and Marx intended to develop secular-scientific ideologies in the wake of European secularisation.





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