when we went to enroll sam into highschool, we were flabbergasted that the counselor told us outright “we just teach them to pass the tests. that is all he is going to learn.” we had known this forever, but it was shocking to hear it come out of a school official’s mouth. there is usually a song and dance and magic trick done by school officials when testing is talk about. the schools are masters of illusion forcing your vision stage right while grabbing the rabbit under the table to dazzle you. apparently this lady was new or just plain worn out by the senselessness of it!
the idea of standardized testing to evaluate collective education is not only bad for school districts, principals and teachers, it can mean academic death of the student and therefore society at large. when i was in school over 20 years ago, we were required to take standardized tests once a year, the results of these tests determined what school districts would get more or less funding and would also allow the placement of some students into higher level programs such as gifted and talented or advanced placement courses. even back then, the whole idea of allotting more money to districts that score higher than districts that score lower seemed like a 180 degrees from logical. now, students undergo testing on a constant basis and the testing not only affects the financial contributions to the school district but students that test low are not able to graduate even after completing and passing all required courses.
reducing and/or refusing funds to districts that score low on average while giving more funds to districts scoring high is so ass-backwards! see, the districts that are scoring high on testing are already doing good, they have teachers that are teaching and probably updated books, while the schools scoring low are missing one or all of the required elements for successful learning. in my opinion this is done to keep the great divide current and uptodate, to ensure those who were born w will have while those born without will not. it all starts and ends there, the future is written in education. keeping the undereducated in their place by holding funding to the schools that need it the most is ensuring those attending poor schools will have a more difficult time surviving in higher education and therefore will have few options in the job market. someone has to run the grill at mcdonald’s, and the way the current educational system is set up, those future minimum wage workers are already chosen.
education is strictly testing based. the classes students take, curriculum, the assignments are all geared 100% towards raising testing scores. the monotony and constant repetition of already learned information is extremely detrimental to the student’s desire to strive for education. introduction of new ideas and critical thinking skills are a thing of the past, a nostalgic philosophy. current students learn how to pass these tests and that is it. those students who have testing anxiety or other things that can make testing a nightmare have no respite, they are required to suck it up and get on board-if you can’t test, you can’t graduate.
testing is supposed to be a method of judgement on the quality of education, teaching methods, and to ensure that students are getting everything they need to be successful in life. it should be a reflection on the system not on the individual student. when you wait to get test scores back to determine your curriculum it is retroactive education, with teachers and administrators scrambling to pick up the slack in areas that students collectively did poorly in, but this is too little too late. the new focuses can’t be implemented for at least a year, leaving the students in an abyss of an educational void. those students will not see the revamped curriculum, as a matter of fact depending on the district and the funding or lack of funding the issues raised may never be addressed.
there are new discoveries everyday in the areas of science, there are new political ideologies introduced consistently, history is a constantly changing minute by minute, government is an evolutionary process bills of extreme importance introduced at all times, by students not staying current on what is happening around them in these areas, they are being robbed of the ability to blend into society. when students go to school and their science books are 10 sometimes even 20 years old, that is educational robbery! hopefully, the students will have a teacher willing to do research and present current affairs to students, but the teachers will be doing this for free, on their own dime bc the funding cuts for the district are first seen in the pay of the teachers then in the tools given to teachers are the next on the chopping block.
i am not the only parent who sees this and shutters. i am a very lucky parent who happens to be able to teach my children at home what they are not taught in school bc in school they are seniors learning what nouns and prepositions are, they are freshman still working on multiplication and division, they are an identification numbers on a test and not ppl. structuring all education around testing is producing individuals who are so far behind, it is impossible for them to catch up! it is chaining them to a life where learning is minimized, they do not need critical thinking skills and usually extreme cyclic poverty.