"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

What's Most Important in School Tests--Manners or Mastery?

This is an excellent post by Ann Althouse on the fallacies of standardized testing and what it really accomplishes. ( Hint: it's not really about educating students to master material). As the New Times article she refers to in her blog states:

As test scores fast become the single and most powerful measurement by which educational outcomes are being judged, more schools might find themselves engaged in what has become a pivotal debate: Should students be rewarded for being friendly, prepared, compliant, a good school citizen, well organized and hard-working? Or should good grades represent exclusively a student’s mastery of the material?

If you are confused on why we are facing a conundrum on the question of "what should a test measure" and how our public schools became so muddled in their mission to educate students, read the comments after Althouse's post. Education issues create passion as commentors debate the reason for America's educational decline. These posts are indicative of the myriad of reasons people believe the system is failing. The readers raise some excellent points but it becomes a virtual shouting match between adults regarding philosophy of education, experiences as educators, etc.

It is apparent people are angry about US educational "experiments" and I sense there is a desire to return to the fundamentals of education and teaching. Read the comments and see if you agree.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter