We musn’t forget the Big Score from 1999

I’m in the Library of Congress today doing some work the old-fashioned way. I grabbed a book off the shelf with a collection of historical documents in education. One of them, interestingly enough, refers to an article in Newsweek from 1999 that I’ve never read called “The Big Score.” It’s all about the pressures of testing. And, apparently, a group of Chicago students at Whitney Young High School organized and whipped up resistance against the system’s “testmania.”

We have been over and over this for roughly 14 years after this article was written, which means the roots of “testmania” reach back even further, back to the turn of the century when intelligence testing cried its first prescient cries and was used to justify all sorts of rotten decisions in the years following.

Read this article, see if any of these names are still fighting the good fight. But then realize that more testing since 1999 has not yielded anything of significance in education. It’s just cost us more money.


  1. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”,

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