Standardized Tests - Do They Determine Who Will Be Successful?
Standardized tests are any test administered and scored in a predetermined standard manner. Do standardized tests determine how successful children will be when they grow up? What do the tests really prove?
I worked as a music teacher in a public school for three years. During my teaching days I noticed the time of year for standardized tests were very tense for both teachers and students. Everyone had to do well. The school rating depended on it, the reputation of the teachers depended on it, and the perception of how much the children learned and how successful they are/will be depended on it. For a week before the exams the teachers did nothing but cram all of the information that was going to be on the test with the children. Music, gym, art, recess, and all "extra non-essentials" were cancelled. I don't know if every school does this but I believe it is common for schools to cram like this for standardized tests. After our school took the test we awaited the results which proved our school was successful. There were celebrations and banners were hung outside the school proclaiming success.
Did the tests really prove anything? Does spoon feeding children the answers to tests before the test is given indicate how wonderful a school is, it's teachers are, or how smart and successful the children are or will become? Teaching answers to a test doesn't equal great teaching or great student learning. It does create a one-dimensional student as opposed to a well-rounded one. The test seems to indicate who the best are at memorizing, not those who can put into practice or understand what they've learned, know how to problem-solve or think outside the box, having the ability to come up with new ideas, or think deeply or creatively in any field.
Are the tests helpful to teachers? The test does not indicate how a student learns or thinks or what a teacher can do next when working with a student. The test seems to yield no useful information for the teacher.
Are there other ways of assessing students learning? Could performance-based assessments be implemented? Could we document student work?
I do not claim to know the answer. I do believe we are doing an injustice to our children by depriving them of a well rounded education. Future writers, musicians, artists, thinkers, etc are missing these aspects of their education to learn a test. Does the test determine their success in these fields not tested?
Let's teach kids to think critically not test mindlessly
- Let's Teach Students to Think Critically, Not Test Mindlessly | Eric Cooper
For the benefit of the nation, we must limit the use of testing and employ it strategically as a tool that can help students view learning with curiosity and frame their responsibilities as citizens of a great country.
A Credit To His Profession only 2 minutes a must see
Do you believe standardized tests are an accurate assessment of student learning?
© 2013 HeatherH104