posted on March 12, 2010 10:09
I remember those standardized test; 8 hour days of bubbling in answer forms knowing that I would never see the results of my work. And after the first 2 hours had passed all I could think of was, “When will it end?” All the while knowing I had 6 more hours to endure that day. How can we expect kids to concentrate for hours on end when we adults lose focus after only an hour of monotonous activity?
Leaving the deficiency of the testing procedure behind let’s look at the test itself, which assumes students learn at the same rate and retain the same information as the student sitting next to them. Schools are gauged by how well test scores do from year to year, but nobody is comparing the same group of children. Yet it is apparent that the students that are under-performing never retained what they were taught the previous year, so how can we assume that all of a sudden they have miraculously caught up?
The blame for the students’ failure belongs to all who participate in keeping the current system in place. The System pushes the child on to the next grade level, regardless if that child had retained anything from the previous year. So by the time students get to high school, the task of educating everyone in the same way, with the same curriculum, is virtually impossible.
It seems to me that the only way the existing standardized testing can give an accurate assessment of what a student has learned is if the System is willing to admit that it has failed a student and holds them at their current grade level until they can pass the test. No wonder there is a game show called, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”
Or maybe we can integrate 21st century technology and devise a new testing procedure that can evaluate students individually on their knowledge and retention of course material. Comparing the same group of students as they go from grade to grade. Can you imagine what education would be like if teachers could actually assess the individual needs of each child at the beginning of the year; molding the curriculum to take the class to the next level? Maybe the game show would have to be renamed to, “Are you smarter than a 12th grader?”
Links to articles: