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My take on standardized testing is that it's not like a penguin climbing a tree. Instead, it's about math, science, English, writing, etc., skills that all students should have. And all 4th graders should read and write and do math at the 4th grade level. Why is that wrong?
i think you are right, john, all 4th graders should have those skills. the problem, though, that i've seen and heard is that teachers tend to be encouraged to teach students what the answers are to very specific questions, so that the scores the students get on the standardized tests are high. ... as opposed to teaching students to think through problems in order to be able to answer them regardless of the form in which they are asked... and students *learn* in different ways. some can easily just climb the tree. others have to find an elevator or build a pulley system in order to get to the top. good teachers recognize these differences and teach various skill sets so that all students can eventually get there. (in my opinion...)
Hi. I agree that we shouldn't let teachers "teach to the test." Maybe the solution is to keep the tests from teachers (and administrators) until the tests are actually given, so teachers have to teach apropriate general skills and how to learn and to love learning. I'm a college science teacher myself, and I know how tough it is to reach everybody in my class. I'm afraid the real problem is that the quality of secondary school teachers isn't very high in may areas. And we need an objective way to evaluate them that is free of politics and good ol' boy networks. Standardized testing (done the right way) seems like the best way to do it. Done wrong it invites problems, as you suggest. Thanks for your blog! I have been an avid fan for several years. Keep 'em coming!John
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