Saturday, June 09, 2007

Big State Testing Results and the School Superintendent

Thursday, Kathy Cox came out all happy because the state test results came back and made her look good.

If anyone looked really hard at the results, they would have to realize that just passing the test doesn't make anyone really look good. It means that we got the kids ready to take a test. By passing the test with an 800, you have met standards. Meeting standards here means you have mastered about 40% of the material. FORTY PERCENT OF THE MATERIAL. You are not a rocket scientist; you have barely learned what you need to learn for the whatever grade you are in. Spend the summer watching TV and what not and you won't even have a grasp on that 40%.

The very same day, there was an article in the very same paper about a group of teachers who were studying about geography because our students don't have the first idea where anything is located in the world.

Today, the paper has an editorial about how our students don't know anything about history.

That is because we have stopped teaching what is important for what makes us look good. We don't teach them how to think or why it is important to know where things are or why the rules of spelling are important or why this novel is fun to read, just because; the state and federal government wants us to turn these children into robots who can read and calculate just enough to get by. The standards aren't good for teachers and they aren't good for students. Aren't we doing a disservice to the children by trying to make them all fit in the same mold? And aren't we doing ourselves a disservice by not teaching them that education can be fun and beautiful and challenging, all at the same time? Who is going to want to teach if it isn't fun anymore?

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Blogger Proverbs16three said...

I agree with you. State testing has turned teachers into "test prep machines." I'm lucky b/c right now I don't have a test to answer to at the end of the year! I understand the purpose is accountability, but all this testing is really hard on the kids. One of my students told me she was in therapy b/c everytime she takes a standardized test, she bombs it. Her anxiety level goes up and she just can't comprehend. She is an A student. Does well on class tests, but can't pass a standardized test to save her life. We should somehow accommodate for these differences in learners.

6/09/2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger said...

Hi there stumbled across your blog through Dewey. I am a primary school teacher in the UK and it was interesting to read your thoughts on teaching, it seems like you have similar problems to what we have here. At the moment creativity is stifled and we are working hard to get that back into the classroom.

6/09/2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger cupcake said...

It's like that in my state, too. The test standards get lower and lower each year in an effort to meet the students, as opposed to the students meeting the test. And don't get me started on the state writing assessments. They are exceedingly prescriptive, yet we hear whinging from the state about how all the assessments sound the same. Ya think?

At least I know we're not alone. Sometimes I wonder if everyone else is chugging steadily along while we're chasing our tails.

6/10/2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger Dewey said...

I agree so much.

6/11/2007 11:51 PM  
Blogger femmme said...

It blows so bad that everyone can sigh because she is happy therefore everyone has relief. If they came back unsatisfactory heads would roll- its such bullshit. state testing is the worst, and , there is no standard. Although there is supposed to be, no two schools do it the same!

6/14/2007 6:24 PM  

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