This article examines the ways in which NCLB and the movement towards large-scale assessment systems are based on Weber's concept of formal rationality and tradition of scientific management. Building on these ideas, the authors use Ritzer's McDonaldization thesis to examine some of the core features of large-scale assessment and accountability systems. According to Ritzer, McDonaldized systems and routines are characterized by four central features: (a) a pursuit of efficiency; (b) emphasis on calculability or quantification of outcomes; (c) predictability and uniformity; and (d) control through nonhuman technologies. Strengths and shortcomings of each of these features for schools and educators are discussed. The article concludes with ideas and strategies for school psychologists interested in maximizing the benefits and minimizing the negative outcomes of large-scale assessment and accountability systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health