I was listening to Noam Chomsky on ranking and the dangers of standardized testing. This is some of what he had to say:
First of all, you don’t have to assess people all the time… People don’t have to be ranked in terms of some artificial standards. The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.
So you are giving some kind of a rank, but it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.
It’s highly destructive at the lower grades. This is elementary education, so you are training kids this way. And it’s very harmful.