Standardized Testing Protests... Growing Nationwide
LINK: The Huffington Post
"A backlash against high-stakes standardized testing is sweeping through U.S. school districts as parents, teachers, and administrators protest that the exams are unfair, unreliable and unnecessarily punitive - and even some longtime advocates of testing call for changes."
Thank you, NCLB!
"Pearson's North American Education division, which last year reported sales of 2.6 billion British pounds ($4.03 billion) and operating profit of 493 million pounds, up 5 percent from 2010, designs tests for many U.S. states and scores hundreds of millions of standardized exams each year."
"In Texas, assessment costs will hit $99 million in 2014-15, the state projects."
I know that's not enough to save every budget and every job, but it's irresponsible to continue spending that kind of money year after year.
"Standardized testing used to be about understanding and addressing students' needs, he said. Now it's become a quick way to judge kids, teachers and entire districts, Kuhn said. 'It's no longer really diagnostic. It's punitive,' he said. 'That's all it is.'"
Tests are meant to guide instruction. It's simple. Give a test at the beginning of the year. Give a test at the end of the year. Compare. The first test guides instruction while the second one confirms the growth.
"In Texas, the state plans to gradually raise standards on its new high school exams. For now, though, algebra students need score only 37 percent to pass."
You only have to listen 37% of the time. You only have to complete 37% of your homework. You only have to attend 37% of the year. Ridiculous. If my students did that poorly on an exam, I would start over--I wouldn't congratulate them for passing.
"The Obama Administration is also pushing states to develop standardized assessments for first- and second-graders - and even for 5-year-olds entering kindergarten, to test what they know of the alphabet, colors, shapes and other basics."
They don't trust us. We're children needing constant supervision and rules. Obviously, kindergarten teachers, who are untrained and incompetent, need an exam to test the children over those topics. There is absolutely no way that they could do that informally, observing the children every moment throughout the day.