Does More Standardize Testing Yield Higher Student Achievement?
Do More Standardize Test Yield Higher Student Achievement?
In 1984 every high school student required to take advance Math and Science courses as part of a college preparedness program. Everyone studies but there was this incomprehensible pressure on students to perform. In 11th grade everyone took their college boards which were usually the SAT and then applied to the schools of their choice in their Senior year. There was one test to determine your achievement. That was it. There was a lot of pressure on the student who took that test because it was only taken once but then the student could return to academic life relatively uniterrupted by the process.
Now there is a standardized test for all fourth graders, the FCAT and then the PSAT and then college boards. One top of which standardized tests are given annually to track academic achievement. For the most part children are no longer being taught anything but the information on the tests and how ot score well. And they have to do this on multiple tests.
It doesn’t make any sense. In 1984 we were graduating Scientist, Doctors, Engineers and Computer Scientists and student achievement was higher then it is today. I was amazed at how few students actually take Calculus now. It was mandatory when I went to High School. It is the same with the Sciences. It is no longer about studying and learning but about beating tests. And apparently the tests have been watered down since the 1980(s). The college boards have become easier.
With all these tests we may not be graduating as many illiterate children but we aren’t graduating as many academics either. The top and the bottom performs are completely cut out of education through these testing schemes that seem entirely unnecessary. So more standardize tests don’t result in higher achievement but more frequent measures.
1) So I am offering a solution. Math and Science haven’t really
changed that much since the 1980(s) at least on the high
school level so scrap all the tests with the exception of the SAT.
Let’s get back to basics and start teaching in the classroom
2) I know JEB is into digital learning and it is appropriate in some cases but is by no means a substitute for learning in an educational environment. Children need to learn to socially network in their academic careers so they can socially network in their jobs. So until there is a digital job opening for all digital learners let’s go back to teaching in the classroom.
3) Standardize classroom curriculums. A Calculus class in
Vermont should be the same as one in Florida but with
enough flexibility the teacher can move the class at a pace of
4) Tie school funding specifically to the student and audit the
school. And if the student both performs well and gives the teacher good ratings then give teachers a bonus. Happy children work hard for their teachers as they do not want to disappoint.
5) Require parent involvement at the school. And have the social
supports in corporations to allow parents to perform their volunteer hours.
6) Have a grade and test forgiveness policy. If a student
successfully remediate’s then allow them to take the highest score.
7) Have a National Data base for teaching specific skills which
teachers can access when a student is having difficult learning.
8) Commit to teaching every child to be a successful adult and not
just those who can make it.
9) On every test including standardize tests error correction
be conducted so the child can see where they made their mistake and have a opportunity to successful learn that skill.
10) Follow the pattern teacher, test, provide error correction and
As much as everyone would like to think teaching is an art it is more of a science in which frequent measures should be taken on a weekly if not bi-weekly basis. And the data should be evaluated, error correction should be taught and then another measure should be taken. Successful teaching has been going on for centuries, and before there was ever an SAT. I agree we should have a standardized testing system I think Princeton has that all wrapped up.
Let’s get back to teaching through a scientific method and stop wasting all these billions of dollars on massively wasteful standardized test that are carious and interfering with the main objective of our educational system which is to prepare our young adults for advanced careers in the world.