2nd Edition

Unequal By Design High-Stakes Testing and the Standardization of Inequality

By Wayne Au Copyright 2022
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    This new edition of Unequal By Design: High-Stakes Testing and the Standardization of Inequality critically examines the deep and enduring problems within systems of education in the U.S., in order to illuminate what is really at stake for students, teachers, and communities negatively affected by such testing.

    Updates to the new edition include new chapters that focus on: the role of schools and standardized testing in reproducing social, cultural, and economic inequalities; the way high-stakes testing is used to advance neoliberal, market-based educational schemes that ultimately concentrate wealth and power among elites; how standardized testing became the dominant tool within our educational systems; the numerous technical and ideological problems with using standardized tests to evaluate students, teachers, and schools; the role that high-stakes testing plays in the maintenance of white supremacy; and how school communities have resisted high-stakes testing and used better assessments of student learning.

    Parents, teachers, university students, and scholars will find Unequal By Design useful for gaining a broad, critical understanding of the issues surrounding our over-reliance on high-stakes, standardized testing in the U.S. through up-to-date research on testing, historical and contemporary examples of the struggles over such tests, and information about how testing has fostered the privatization of public education in the U.S.

    Series Editor Introduction by Michael W. Apple, Preface to the Second Edition, Chapter 1: Enduring Educational Inequality in the United States, Chapter 2: Testing and the Neoliberal Educational Enterprise, Chapter 3: Standardized Testing and the Production of Capitalist Schooling, Chapter 4: The Troubles With Testing, Chapter 5: High-Stakes Testing and White Supremacy, Chapter 6: Reclaiming Assessment for Justice, Index


    Wayne Au is Professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington Bothell, USA. A long-time educational activist and scholar, his work critically examines issues of power and justice in educational policy and practice.

    "Wayne Au has really done it with this one. With the most up-to-date research on high-stakes testing in the U.S., historical analysis of the origins of standardized testing, theoretical insights into the role of testing in our school system, inspirational accounts of communities resisting these tests, and an exploration of alternatives to these punitive exams, Unequal By Design is both the sword and the shield we need with us in the battle for the education students deserve."

    Jesse Hagopian, teacher, author, and organizer for the Zinn Education Project's Teaching for Black Lives campaign.

    "I am always left in awe of Au’s writing, andt he 2nd edition of Unequal By Design is no exception. This book is everything we need right now to understand that to end high-stakes testing is to chop off one of the tentacles of White supremacy. Packed with data and research and explained with the ease of a skilled storyteller, this new edition debunks the lies of the testing industry and illuminates the path forward for continued resistance to the model of ranking our children to uphold racism. Unequal By Design is now fresher and more necessary than ever."

    Bettina Love, Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia, USA.