The goal of school . . .

The Lowe Down

It’s the time of year that only school testing companies anticipate; state assessment season. The pressure on teachers and students is phenomenal and it’s ridiculous. These tests no more prove that a child or teacher is doing their job and learning is taking place, than quarterly grades determine a child’s success in life. Grading can be subjective. In teaching college writing courses, discussions with young people revealed they often lamented not paying proper attention during high school classes in order to prepare for college courses. They shared their realization that their honor roll achievements and good grades in high school did not mean they learned at all or would be successful.

The hype that takes place during testing week in schools across the nation to encourage students to try to score well on the state assessments makes me sad. I’ve been there. At times when you’re in the middle of it, you wonder, for whom and why are we really encouraging the students to score well? Do we do it for them or the school and district so it makes a good showing in the state? Until you’ve seen and dealt with meltdowns over test expectations, don’t tell teachers, parents or kids that all this stress is for their own good. This competition comes at a price and our children are paying the bulk of it. Wellmeaning politicians control educational mandates that are often detrimental to what educational research states is best practice and conducive to learning.

 

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