A national standardized test, state tests and teaching to the test are
the intellectual cloning of America's children through testing.

national standardized test, FCAT testing and state tests

National Standardized Test, FCAT Testing and State Tests
How to Make the World a Better Place Chapter 9
by Mark Zimmerman

Go To:
Chapter 1 Emotional Literacy Education and Self-Knowledge
Chapter 2 Emotional Literacy Language and Vocabulary
Chapter 3 Emotional Literacy Education Teaching Compassion
Chapter 4 Emotional Literacy Education Understanding Fear
Chapter 5 Emotional Literacy Education, Hate, Violence & September 11, 2001
Chapter 6 Abraham Maslow, Emotional Literacy and Ortho-Education
Chapter 7 A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow
Chapter 8 Self-Knowledge Learning Needs vs. Maslow's Self-Actualization Skills
Chapter 10 The Cause of War and a Solution

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The idea of a national standardized test, and State tests, like California's STAR test and the Florida FCAT test, are designed to narrow children's focus to math, reading, writing and science. These tests act like a box within a box. Not only do these tests restrict education to a few subjects, but within these subjects education is restricted to what's on the test. It is called in the education field, "teaching to the test."

Our current education system fails to address self-actualization needs and need-fulfillment skills. As a result, it fails to fully culturalize its students. Any system of education which is expansive of diverse skills will not only benefit the student to live a happier and more meaningful life, but it will help the society advance at home and in the world.

The idea for a state or national standardized test and testing came from politicians and business leaders - who decided they did not want to pay for the real cost of education. In its place, they decided to blame teachers. As punishment, they imposed unrealistic standards on students. These politicians are fully owned and operated by corporate contributions.

What corporations are imposing on the education system through standardized tests is nothing less than forcing children into a corporate value system, whose only value is profit. It can be said, then, that "teaching to the test" is a way of maximizing corporate profits. This also benefits big business by channeling children away from the cultivation of specialized skills, thus dummying down our population of children, so that they are more suited for menial work.

Thwarting fulfillment of the self-actualization needs of children causes them to seek pleasures in fruitless, counter productive and often self-destructive ways. These self-destructive tendencies actually drag the society down, as we all must ultimately pay via money or by being a victim of crime. It makes no sense at all, from an economic point of view, not to create productive and happy citizens.

Corporate America is more interested in creating a slave work force than it is in solving social problems. Large corporations are interested in the homogenization of Americans. They have pushed out family owned businesses and farms. Corporate conglomerates maybe more efficient, and provide products and services at lower cost, but they also destroy the diversity of skills and crafts (self-actualization) that makes us different from animals. They have tremendous influence, through advertising, which is a form of brain washing and propaganda (Bill Moyers Report), to teach Americans, not only their buying habits, but also disrupting and crippling their value systems.

The founding Fathers of America created a check and balance system within the power structure of government, because they did not trust government. Unfortunately, for all of us who have been negatively effected by corporate abuse, e.g. the tobacco and asbestos industries, etc., they failed to do so for business what they did for government. The corporatization of America has created a power structure greater than government itself. Frankly, the author distrusts all power structures including government and corporate. Their overwhelming power over our lives is destroying the freedoms of the individual - upon which this country was founded.

Psychopathology is not an appropriate term for the education of children, but it is certainly appropriate for the adults who run and control our lives in pathological ways. Greed is not good. It is an insatiable desire to satisfy needs that cannot be satisfied by money. For example, the safety needs, love needs and self-actualization needs are as much a state of mind as they are a state of external fulfillment. Therefore, the mere accumulation of money cannot satisfy those needs, because money only addresses external deficiencies, not emotional ones. One must do something to themselves internally as well. A perfect example, which has always guided the author's life, is how Howard Hughes ended his life, by finding satisfaction only in drugs.

America has been taken over by corporate executives and the rich, who care only about themselves. Their psychopathology of greed and selfishness causes them to fulfill their thwarted needs by taking money away from others. Corporations use the U.S. Treasury as their own personal piggy bank. Money that could be spent on the education of children is diverted to corporations through bailouts, tax exemptions and subsidies. This increases their profits, so corporate executives can pay themselves huge salaries and compensation packages. Companies like Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, Arthur Andersen and the various brokerage firms whose stock analysts were paid to lie, for the sake of selling stocks that were overvalued, and insider trading, etc., all point to a corrupt corporate value system of greed for the sake of a few privileged abusers of stockholders and tax payers. Of this corporate crime, we will see very few arrests, less convictions, and of those convicted we will see them do little or no jail time.

Where is the check and balance system for business? That is the responsibility of Congress, State Legislators and the various Administrations, but they are controlled by big business. Once again the author states his distrust of politicians who receive political contributions from corporations and the rich. Blame lays squarely at the feet of all corporate executives that seek to lobby Congress, State Legislators and Administrations, to give them money from the U.S. and State Treasuries. They use laws to increase their profits, and divert money away from education, and into their own personal bank accounts. State Legislators and Congress wrote the laws, and various Administrations have signed the bills, that give tax payer money as corporate welfare. This causes children great suffering, as they are left unprepared to live as adults.

Bob Dylan wrote in his Infidel CD, "Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king."

Another unknown author wrote, "You can steal more with a pen, than you can steal with a gun."

Some of these really bad characters, who are products of our current education system, may serve 18 months in jail, then return to their posh lives. Most will not serve any time. When the fox guards the chicken house, chickens will be stolen. Congress, State Legislators and various Administrations have been morally corrupted by corporate contributions. To put it simply, when money is used to line the pockets of corporate executives and increase corporate profits, it is money that could be spent on your children and your grandchildren.

The first companies to take advantage of the freedoms that businesses gave to themselves included slavery and the tobacco industry. Thomas Jefferson, who the author believes was a remarkable man in many ways, is a good example of persons in business who exempted themselves from responsibility to our fellow humans. Thomas Jefferson, to support his lavish life style, owned slaves. Unlike George Washington, he did not even bother to give them their freedom in his will.

Business in America was conceived as what we call the free market system. The free market system is not free, as it is a competitive market of winners and losers. Ultimately, it is children who cannot speak for themselves, that end up, paying the highest cost. Contrary to the idea of the American Dream, the author has found the American Dream - a lie perpetuated by corporations through advertising - to keep us working toward making profit for someone else. The playing field is littered with double standards, one standard for corporations and the rich, and another for the rest of us.

After starting the destruction of the unions with the firing of the air traffic controllers in 1981, business has continued to reduce the power of the unions and the American people. Corporate executives, that have moved their operations overseas and over the border, are the Benedict Arnold's of our time. They have betrayed Americans at the deepest core of what it means to be an American. They have deprived us of the higher paying jobs that we all need, for the sake of profit. They have caused a large percentage of the American people into menial, meaningless and skill-less service jobs.

Emotional Literacy Education is a system of education that uses Maslow's needs as a model of what needs to be taught in schools. It stresses the teaching of Maslow's needs, and sets up an educational system that teaches the student how to satisfy their needs. It trains children in all skills that produce products and services of the highest quality. Self-actualization is achieved by individuals who pursue the highest level of skill in any area or field. It is a necessary forerunner of the need for self-knowledge.

We are not very good at satisfying Maslow's love needs. Another benefit of helping children by teaching them higher skills associated with self-actualization is - that children can learn to love what they do. That will translate into learning how to love themselves and therefore others.

A state or national standardized test takes America's children toward homogenization and away from individuality. Standardized tests dehumanize us all, by a cookie cutter technique of making every child the same. The idea of forcing every child into a single mold through standardized testing and tests is the intellectual cloning of children.

By keeping children away from learning and achieving the highest skills in the areas of their interest, not only restricts them from the momentary joys of achievement, Maslow's peak experiences, but also restricts them forever from the permanent happiness that they would achieve through fulfilling their self-knowledge needs.

Additional online books and articles by Mark Zimmerman
Format - Real Audio The Old Man of the Holy Mountain
Format - Real Audio & Text The Book that Changed My Life
Subtitle: The Making of The Old Man of the Holy Mountain

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