All I Know is Standardized Tests Have Got To Go!! Angel's Interpretations of the Education System Continued
Mentos and a 2-liter Diet Coke make an awesome eruption but they wanted to try orange Fanta too... :)
“It takes ten times longer to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” -Suzanne Collins
Not an overnight fix...
This is not an easy, overnight fix. There is no simple way to undo the damage that has already been done. Think of all the students in the school system right now that are not getting the quality education they need and won’t get it for many years to come after all the policy makers are finally through overhauling the system. And who knows when that will be...?
In the mean time, what are we teaching our children? Since when do standardized test scores mean anything as far as the individual child is concerned? Somewhere along the way to where we are now, someone decided that overgeneralized state and national rankings determine whether or not a student is educated. What? Do we even realize that a large part of the world does not have mandatory testing? Does that mean no one in their society is educated?
What I don’t want to see anymore...
As Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” That does not say anything about scantrons, intensely long and boring reading comprehension passages, tests that last for hours and hours, or extreme math that has no life applications whatsoever. Where did we come up with the idea that this was the BEST way to analyze whether or not students are learning what they are supposed to be learning in school? Why don’t we let teachers go back to being teachers and students go back to being students?
Here's an idea of where to start...
So how to do I propose to solve this problem? Go back to the way it was before No Child Left Behind, the race to the top/bottom, and all the other policies that have gotten us to this cold-hearted, standardized assessment process that determines absolutely nothing. Yes, we need to have state standards that go along with national standards but when I say standards that does not mean standardized tests. There are many other ways of evaluating a student’s progress and achievements. Teachers are teachers, not test proctors. Students are students, not test takers.
Science fairs and spelling bees, math olympiads and essay contests, research papers and book reports... remember these? There are a ton of different ways to determine whether or not a student is learning. If the students can succeed in their classes then it should also imply that they could do just as well in another classroom in the state. Now state to state it’s going to vary slightly, but as long as all the core classes are equally represented then children will get the well-rounded education they are seriously missing out on right now.
What do I want to see?
You know what I would love to see? A return to the library and a love of reading that is completely lost on this generation of high-tech toys and gadgets. I would love to see students actually doing real science experiments again. I would love to see kids gets involved in after school chess clubs and math clubs as well as sports and arts and music. In general I would just love to see a triumphant return to the variety of core classes I used to know and love.
TO BE CONTINUED...