I have many issues with standardized testing and I think that at some point, I’ll write a post to outline some of them and perhaps provide research-based evidence as to how ineffective they really are. However, for now, this principal does a terrific job of outlining the many reasons why standardized testing is an ineffective way to teach. As an educator, I am continually faced with undergraduates who cannot summarize or synthesize several articles and they certainly have great difficulty incorporating their *own* ideas; they have rarely been asked to do so before.
I have the great challenge of teaching in an age where the majority of the traditionally-aged college students have grown up in an era of “No Child Left Behind,” yet where most of them are significantly behind in their ability to think critically. They often cannot understand non-binary viewpoints and have trouble with cumulative thinking (beyond math and science). If they are asked to connect something they read last week with something they read this week, there are blank stares. This takes practice, is necessary in most career fields (whether they require college or not) and should be cultivated repeatedly and starting early. We aren’t preparing our students for civic engagement or for contributing to a challenging economy. We are preparing them to take tests because it is needed for… taking tests? I sincerely believe, as does the author of the connected post, that the government and non-educators have absolutely no business making educational decisions and educational policy, particularly without widespread consultation with the frontline educators.
This is one of the reasons why I actually entertain the idea of going into politics someday. Someone needs to get it through politicians’ thick heads that they do not have the training or knowhow required for deciding educational assessment measures.
Take a moment and read the letter that Principal Sternberg (EdD) wrote to parents for this school year. I think it’s to the point and filled with important insight for the general public to be aware of and know.