“Why Do We Still Have School After The Tests?”

That was the question one of my students asked me today after we had heard yet another exhortation to do well on our standardized tests in March.

I left school long before the era of standardized tests. I knew the things had become a major part of the education world, but it’s only now as a first year teacher that I realize just how major they are. From being told that I have to limit the format of my normal tests to that of the state tests – nothing but multiple choice – to spending one day a week for the last two months administering practice tests, to the limitation of the curriculum to the possible subjects of the test, to the required posters listing the possible scores, to the paid consultants who are supposed to help us improve scores on the tests, to the worry and stress I see in the other teachers, everything is about the tests. Still, it was my student’s question today that really brought home the ridiculousness of the situation. I mean, it’s one thing for a teacher to criticize a school for “teaching to the test.” It’s another, I think, when the kids now think correctly bubbling in dots is the sum of their education.

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One Comment on ““Why Do We Still Have School After The Tests?””

  1. Mary Ann Says:

    I shared your comments with Sister June, the administrative director (nothing so hierarchical as a principal) at this inner-city Catholic high school. She asked for copies to share with the faculty to reinforce why we DON”T want to teach to the test. And she sends her sympathy.


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