I was just wondering if anyone else thought that standardized testing in grades K-12 is a good indicator of if a child is smart or not?
A couple of Saturday's ago I had this same general line of conversation with a customer of mine...
...he was talking about how in the armed forces they are trained to soak in just enough information so they could pass a test, dump it, and soak in new stuff, wash and repeat as desired.
No, its not a good indicator of anything than maybe your child has decent reasoning skills and can figure out an answer given multiple choices.
Intelligence is generally the ability to take in and process information (learn) efficiently. In other words, it relates to a person's potential for learning/processing information.
Standardized tests measure what a child has learned. There are times when intelligent kids don't learn the material in school very well; and, as a result, won't do well on tests. There are also kids who get nervous during tests and don't test well.
At the same time, if a kid does extremely well on standardized tests it means he has mastered that particular material well (so that would indicate that, at least when it comes to learning that particular material, the child most likely is fairly capable). A child without strong ability to learn and retain sufficient information is not likely to do extremely well on standardized tests.
G/M, good reasoning ability is a sign of one type of intelligence.
Thanks. I both agree on some of your points, and disagree. I'm quite certain more people are passing these standardized tests not because they know the information, but because they're able to reason.
And truly, I think, thats all still fine...school is supposed to teach you to learn, process, gather, connect...as you have pointed out, so maybe I don't disagree at all....
Standardized Test Gone Bad:
I don't think standardized testing is a fair indicator of whether a child is 'smart' or not. Children learn and process information at different speeds and in different ways. Standardized testing isn't set up to take that into consideration. I think these test are used more to indicate how well the school is doing its job.
I tried to watch the video because I was assuming it would be something prepared by someone in the education business; but it lost me.
Again, though, someone can't be "stupid" and do exceptionally well on standardized tests. It isn't just my opinion that reasoning ability and analytical skills are forms of intelligence. So, while someone may be able to bluff his way through a multiple choice test, it still is not likely he's "stupid". It just means he isn't necessarily demonstrating having learned the material.
Learning the material is a different thing from intelligence. People who have enough reasoning ability to bluff their way through a standardized tests are not lacking in intelligence.
Some might even say that the person who bluffs his way and comes out with a 98th percentile score is probably more intelligent than the student who only memorizes the material after lots and lots of struggle in order to get the 98th percentile score.
Yeah, the vid was a guy taking a standardized test. Its a British comedy, which I suppose I'm like all of five Americans that understand it.
I agree with you, point for point. It doesn't mean someone is stupid if they can cheat their way through a test---but the bigger question is, then, what are these tests good for?
Grading a school? A teacher's curriculum? I dunno about that one, either.
I suppose they're good to get a reading of the minimum number of students who have, at least, gotten the material (even if they have to factor in for x amount of guessing). I do think most people (schools, parents, and students who are old enough to consider it) are aware that tests just give a "reading".
As far as the video goes, I saw the "Nazi-looking" outfits and the color of the video; and I was just worried I'd end up seeing something I didn't want to see. "Young-guy" humor is something I usually approach with caution.
Haha, I totally understand. But trust me, I'm called an old soul. I watch many things, and don't really try to adhere to any genre or plan.
My favourite comedy movies were made by the Marx Brother's, The Three Stooges, and Buster Keaton.
I may listen to heavy metal, but my jazz and blues collection is extensive as well.
Not at all. The schools do nothing but prepare for the test all year long. teachers are no longer allowed to choose what or how they teach, only prepare for the test.
And some very smart kids do not test well. And any test where you can guess is not a very good indicator.
BGPappa, I agree.
Standardized testing is a very big problem for those students who need individualized feedback in order to learn. Even in reading, starting in first grade, the children are expected to take computerized AR (accelerated reading) tests to see how their reading is progressing. Teachers hardly ever listen to each child read aloud -- and children are never asked to write a book report or tell what they personally thought a book was about. The AR tests don't just test reading -- they test whether the child has the same world view as the person who wrote the test.
bgpappa, I agree that some smart kids don't tell well.
I think it's important to note a difference, though, between reasoning out the most likely answer and "willy nilly guessing". To the best of my understanding, the scoring process will pick up on willy-nilly guessing. What may not stand out as much is when kids are good at reasoning out the correct answer (rather than just guessing).
Lisa, to some extent, the teachers when they help children prepare for standardized tests, are trying to help them to learn procedures that will enable this kind of reasoning. Instead of working on how to completely solve a math problem, they teach how to arrive at a close estimate of what the answer might be.
In areas such as reading comprehension, much of the reasoning that goes into figuring out which answer the test writer thought would be correct has to do with intuitively sensing the bias of the test writer. It's a sort of "reading between the lines" that people with good scoial skills excel at. It's also easier for those people who share the cultural heritage of the test writer to arrive at the standard answer.
I just wanted to add my 2 cents.
I actually used to be a teacher, in Asia, and I had to give students tests every week. Since there was a lot of pressure to have students have scores over 70%, most of the time they would simply memorize the material rather than learning it in a manner that help to retain the information past the testing date. So it felt like the tests were causing more problems.
On the other hand, I found it very useful to give a test at the beginning and ending of each chapter to see where the students stood. Of course, those would generally be tests that I had written myself and tailored to exactly what I wanted to know about the students' abilities (and NOT the standardized tests).
So in short, a happy medium seems to be the way to go.
(It should be mentioned that I am no longer a teacher, and have absolutely no interest in ever pursuing that career path again )
Well, you were doing God's work either way.
I'm glad you tried it, at least....I could only imagine how interesting and difficult a teaching job must be.
I don't know enough about American exams to comment on those.
Here, the main public exams and qualifications are the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and Advanced (A) levels.
GCSE courses are from 14 to 16, and the person does a number of subjects over those two years. English, Maths, a science or two and a foreign language are the most common, and the first three are compulsary. I did 10 GCSEs, over a range of subjects - English Lit, English Lang, maths, physics, geography, history, music, classical civilisations, German and Latin.
A levels are two year courses aged 16 to 18, although most people now do more course in the first year of the sixth form (A1) and drop some to concentrate on fewer in the second year (A2). I did 3 A levels, in English Lit, history, and geography. You can do anything you want, no compulsary subjects. One of my sisters did biology, chemistry and art, the other biology, art and English Lit. My brother did Latin, history and geography.
The marking is external, that is, the exams are public exams and marked outside the school.
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