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