One Teacher's Voice

Think.Learn.Know.Act

It’s time to take a stand

After a break that was much too long I have updated the links on the Standardized Testing page. There are articles, organizations, research, editorials and much more. Please consider taking a look to view the importance of this issue as a taxpayer.

Testing is a billion dollar industry and in Indiana alone I have read that we pay close to $46 million a year (I’m still checking that number, I will update with confirmation one way or the other). Standardized tests do not drive instruction. Teachers do not score their own tests, they are not able to analyze their student’s thinking and instead are forced into silence. Teachers and students alike spend the majority of their time preparing for and taking standardized tests.

Assessment is a crucial part of instruction. In order to teach a child, we have to know where they’re at and then assess how they are progressing every single day. However, children are no more standardized than adults. They come to school with many different abilities and passions and for some reason we expect them to learn the exact same thing, one the exact same day, in the exact same way. This is all driven by standardized tests.

 

It’s time to stand up

It’s time to let our voices be heard as

citizens

teachers

students

parents

administrators

taxpayers 

Will you speak up?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parents-Kids-Against-Standardized-Testing/117479641627357?ref=stream

Photo from Parents & Kids Against Standardized Testing Facebook Page

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4 comments on “It’s time to take a stand

  1. eogele
    February 26, 2013

    I think the fact that there isn’t a more objective method of evaluation happens to be the real problem. Until something better is established, standardized tests are the way to go. I cringe when I say that but every other evaluator is very subjective. Since our system is a system of merit, it is only fair that those who can prove they have committed time to studying and understanding concepts that intelligent people have considered important should receive the rewards.

    • One Teacher's Voice
      February 26, 2013

      First off, thank you for your comment! I always appreciate being challenged and having an open dialogue about these very important issues in education.

      I understand your thoughts on standardized tests but I would respond that teachers go through many, many classes about holistic and fair assessments. Teachers gather accurate data to determine growth and success in their students. While I think it is fine to incorporate a few standardized tests, ultimately a standardized test is designed so students HAVE to fail. It is the only way the data is accurate. Such is the inherent nature of statistics. So while there’s nothing wrong with this one snapshot of students, it is not what we should use as teachers to guide instruction or determine the abilities of our students. Lately, this is what is happening in our schools. Constant standardized tests that do not paint an appropriate picture of a teacher’s students.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to comment!

      • eogele
        February 26, 2013

        I do agree with you in that a number on an exam should not determine a person’s abilities. I’m not a teacher, I’m in college now and am far removed from elementary and secondary so I can’t claim to know all the nuances of the system. I however, don’t think that these tests are designed so that some students HAVE to fail. That would be self-defeating as the original idea behind them is that all students should be held to a standard that all should pass. Apparently it has now become a game of numbers and I’m sorry. What do you propose will fix this?

      • One Teacher's Voice
        February 26, 2013

        Very great ideas. Unfortunately, it is true that statistically standardized tests are designed for some to fail. Here is a great resource to learn more about it. http://fairtest.org/

        I propose that school continue to provide a modest amount of standardized test data but that there is a limit to how many and how often students have to take them. In elementary schools (especially schools that are in urban settings) are subjected to a barrage of tests starting as early as Kindergarten. It’s basically everyday, all year (especially second semester). There’s no reason to eliminate standardized tests entirely, but it is out of control and it is taking the place of real instruction and it is being used to group children, rather than using holistic, authentic forms of assessments such as spelling inventories, running records, formative assessments and the occasional summative assessment. Ultimately, I believe effective teachers are trained to do this. If not, they need some professional development.

        I work in an elementary school right now as an ESL teacher and I have spent the majority of my time testing students, instead of teaching them. There’s an unfortunate feeling amongst higher-ups (outside of schools) that in order to get better test scores, we need more tests, rather than more teaching.

        Thanks again for engaging in this conversation!

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2013 by in Standardized Tests, Teaching and tagged , .
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