CLICK TO READ: Extra Points for Effort - Washington Post
This is a pet peeve of mine. Another article about "No Child Left Behind" and new testing models.
"The trouble is, there isn't any evidence that American schools or American teachers are making great progress in the classroom. On the contrary, the results of recent standardized tests show that on average American children are making very little progress. There are exceptions -- but mostly in the states, districts and schools that have been using regular assessments and accountability standards the longest. Four years after its enactment, the No Child Left Behind law is no slam-dunk success, but the basic principles around which it was organized -- accountability, assessment, standards -- have not been disproved."They may not have been disproved, but I would argue they are all but disproven. Everyone who remembers their own school years can usually agree on one thing: they hated tests. And they rarely "learned" much by studying for them. Why? Because they crammed to get a grade, memorized and reguritated information and then forgot everything they had crammed and memorized and regurgitated. The classes that actually taught you something had teachers who knew how to engage students and get their creative and intellectual juices flowing, how to motivate them want to learn, how to excite them about the incredibly interesting world and universe in which they live.
We will never fix the education problem by trying to "measure" success through tests. A bad lesson plan or a bad teacher will never be improved by another test. Tests are notoriously lacking in their ability to measure much of anything--other than a student's facility in taking tests.
Rather, we should be looking at how to excite children to want to learn. We should be finding ways to instill in our children a love of reading. We should be looking at ways to make what they are reading and learning relevant to their lives. We should find ways to make learning fun and creative and compelling. We should be looking at teachers who are successfully achieving these goals now. We should be reinventing "education", teaching "out of the box", rather than reinventing tests.
It's a lot harder to do what I am proposing than to come up with another testing model, but until we do, we will be forever designing new testing models that won't solve the problem.
SEE ALSO: Students Ace State Tests, but Earn D's From U.S. - New York Times