There is a big difference between preparing kids for a life of tests and preparing them for the tests of life. Defenders of standardized, fill-in-the-bubble, forced-choice examinations have the audacity to cite a "real world" need for such examinations, and yet standardized testing is what constitutes an amazingly contrived and unrealistic form of assessment.
Too many people assume that standardized tests measure the quality of education. This assumption gets us into a lot of trouble because standardized tests were never intended to serve this purpose. Standardized tests are a tool for ranking individual students not rating whole classrooms, schools or nations. There's also strong evidence to suggest that standardized tests are really measuring out-of-school factors such as affluence and poverty. ...And later:
Testing is not teaching. Writing a test is not learning. Tests can only measure a sample of what we would ever want our children to learn and become. What is on the test might not be as important as what is not on the test. ... Proponents of teaching to the test are either irresponsibly ignorant or dangerously deceptive -- either way, they have no business being our leaders.Bower refers his strong arguments to Romney's questionable positions on testing, teachers, and improving education. You can read his article for more of that analysis.