Isn’t it Time to Stand Up Against Standardized Testing?
Yes, and as April looms ahead, my mindset is focused on the realization, it’s that time of year again. It was this quote, “If the purpose for learning is to score well on a test, we’ve lost sight of the real reason for learning,” from Jeannie Fulbright, that inspired this blog.
Once again I feel the need to remind everyone the U.S. Department of Education, For Each and Every Child—A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence, Washington, D.C., 2013 states in the above publication: “To ensure meaningful and fair evaluations, evidence of student learning should not rely solely on standardized tests. Policies that use such measures in that inappropriate manner tend to misclassify the competence of teachers, as well as reduce the morale of teachers, create disincentives to teach the highest-need students, undermine public confidence in schooling and encourage teacher-preparation programs and schools to focus on raising test scores rather than on teaching children important concepts with a rich curriculum that includes the arts and humanities in addition to core subjects.”
Dear Government, this is not happening. Feeling overruled and brainwashed by the “you gotta learn to test” crowd, it is hard to remain true to oneself. All the time spent on preparing students to take a test after test is an ominous task. Teaching to the test does not instill deep learning… ever. When children are asked to know material taught early on, they most often reply with, “Ahhh, I don’t remember.” That explains why, between 8th and 12th grade, American school children are scoring near the bottom on international assessments. The pressure of performing well on these tests causes teachers to structure their curriculum around the test, rather than helping students gain real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in life. This shift in classroom focus causes students to lose interest in school and may even encourage students (especially those from a minority or low socioeconomic background) to drop out of school. If one of the goals of education is to instill students with practical tools so that they may go on to be productive citizens and genuinely contribute to their communities, standardized testing is opposing this goal. If you support this concept please leave a comment and join the group called Opt Out.