Original post made
on Aug 18, 2011
Standardized testing - ha! It's like circumcision, you let your kid participate so he won't be seen as different. Each year the written questions are different, anywhere from analytical to autobiographical essays. Which do you think is easier? They tell teachers not to teach to the test yet they "encourage" teachers to only cover the specific standards that the test is created from. Teaching is a lost art. Remember California in the 70s and 80s when teachers had lifetime credentials, brought guitars into the classrooms and we all ended up at UC campus'? Now text book companies compete for dollars and principals forfeit common sense for district wide procedures. They're too worried about getting sued to treat the students as individuals, and standardized testing just feeds that curriculum.
If you knew anything about the test, you'd know that they are aligned with all of the California State standards. Some aren't tested on as much as others, but either way it doesn't mean that teachers should be "teaching to the test." A great teacher can teach the curriculum and have his/her class well prepared by the time the tests come along.
I'm a firm believer in standardized testing as an important part of an overall program of quality control in education; but I also firmly believe that if you teach the material well, your students should have no problem with any test you or anyone else puts in front of them. If you teach the test, on the other hand, you fail to prepare the kids to actually use the material being tested, not to mention the material that doesn't make it into the test.