From Short-Circuit Signs:
[I]t is hard not to notice how often standardized tests come up as examples of good, or at least acceptable, assessment – ironic because faculty are exhorted to take this stuff seriously on the grounds that doing otherwise will mean federally mandated testing. Sounds like a Foucauldian nightmare/farce, right? It gets worse when the discussion turns to standardization of curriculum to make the testing possible.
What often seems lost in this discussion is a recognition that college and university faculty aren’t professional teachers. We’re professional scientists, writers, artists, etc. etc. who teach. This remains true even at institutions like mine where undergraduate education is the primary purpose. We’re supposed to contribute to the development of knowledge, not just recite received works. Standardization runs counter to that larger process of knowledge production, stifles it even.