What Do You Think?

Good Thursday morning, friends!

How’s your week been so far? Busy, busy, busy around here!

I’m thinking of starting a series in which you share your thoughts on a particular subject – titled, “What Do You Think?”. I love hearing different perspectives and thoughts! Here we go…

This week is state standardized testing in our state. My kids are asked to answer a variety of different questions in a range of subject areas – reading, english, writing, math, and science – in a certain amount of time. The objective of these tests is to measure their knowledge against the standards they are supposed to know at the end of third grade.

A good idea, right?

Then, when results are returned, school officials are able to see how well our school did compared to other schools in the state or country. They are able to see areas of strength and areas of weaknesses. Again, a good idea, right?

I don’t know though. Is it a true reflection of a child’s abilities and knowledge if they are unable to answer the questions in the time provided? What if a child is a slow worker? They are penalized. Or if they are bad test takers? They’re penalized again. Not only that, but teachers are then “measured” by how well their students perform on the test.

Ahh...standardized test season. Love that my reputation as a third grade teacher is in the hands of an 8 year old.

So, what’s a teacher to do? Do we teach to the test? Making sure students know how to take a test, how to work quickly, and know (very well!) the information that will be tested?

OR do we teach in an authentic way – using real life experiences and examples, allowing children to explore in order to learn, allowing them to fail – and it be ok? After all, we all learn from our mistakes, right?

Sadly, this is the truth =/

On this Thinking out Loud Thursday, I want to hear your thoughts.

Let’s Chat…

1. What are your feelings about standardized tests?

2. Do you think it’s fair to measure a child, teacher, and/or school by how well students perform on ONE test?

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4 thoughts on “What Do You Think?

  1. I don’t agree with standardized testing! I believe in teaching real life situations! I think we don’t prepare kids when they head off to college or rather when they finish college we spend so much time teaching them things that although are important but we forget the real life aspects of things! I mean if you know calculus perfectly but don’t know how to apply it in real world situations what purpose does it serve you! Standardized tests I think often put way to much pressure on kids to perform a certain way too! And teachers too!

    • Yes, exactly! Just because they know how to find the main idea in a passage, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll relate to future success in the real world!

  2. I have a lot of issues with standardized testing. I don’t think it’s a good measure for intelligence, nor do I think that it’s fair to assume that every child is intelligent in the same way. A child might have an amazing artistic skill while maybe not performing so well in the areas of reading or arithmetic, and it’s not fair to label them as average or below average because of that. The stigma can really go on to mess with them as they grow up.

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