Back to School or Back to Testing … Think About It!

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Today’s Topic:
Has education become more about temporary results and grades than long term success and knowledge?

My kids have not made it to testing grades yet, so from personal experience, I don’t have much to say on this issue. However, I am married to a school teacher, and am the daughter of 2 school teachers. I have many friends who teach as well. From what I have seen, and read, we have become too focused on testing. Instead of teachers being able to really get down and teach the kids, and help those struggling, while also pushing those advanced, they’ve been stuck just trying to get every kid to pass a test.
Why? What happened? Well school’s started relying on test scores to get their funding. If scores aren’t good enough, they could lose some funding. It used to be that tests were used as an evaluation as a whole so the teachers knew where to help the kids. What were they struggling with? What did they have a good knowledge of?  No longer. Now it’s an evaluation of how well the teachers must be doing. 
I see where this may have been a good idea. It would help weed out those teachers who weren’t really teaching, and help push to keep kids at a level they should be at. 
It’s gone south though. Now it’s all teachers can focus on. The test scores. Teach the kids what they need to know to pass the test, and forget the rest.
One major problem is that the smart kids are getting left behind now. Even advanced learning kids need an environment that will teach them and motivate them to keep learning. Otherwise, they will get bored, and fall behind the rest of the kids, or become mischievous.
My opinion is that the money needs to be removed from test scores. A revamp of how teachers are evaluated needs to occur. And kids should be taught at a pace they can really thrive in, whether it’s slowly, or advanced. We need to tailor a little more to every child’s learning need.
Next week’s topic:
Is spending too much time on your computer bad?

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10 thoughts on “Back to School or Back to Testing … Think About It!

  1. Most of this all started with NCLB. I don't know very many teachers who like NCLB and it will have to be changed by 2014 when the goals were set. It's sad to see teachers who have to worry about their jobs and funding because of it. It's sad to see so many programs leaving schools because they need to make sure all children are passing these tests. It's the children who are suffering and the government has their heads so far up their you know whats to realize that.

    Yes, smart kids are the ones getting the shortest end of the stick. They are the kids teachers don't need to worry about so they put most of their focus on the kids who are behind. The smart kids end up being the naughty kids or end up not caring about school. I'm all for ability grouping! It allows the students to learn at the level they need. If a student is able to do math a year or two ahead, they should be taught at that level. I firmly believe all children should be taught at their ability levels, not their age level.

    At Jayson's school, they do not offer anything for the smart kids. They only focus on the kids who are behind, unless a teacher chooses to handout extra enrichment. 7th grade and up, they do offer some honors classes but they are still learning the same grade-level curriculum, they just have extra work. Extra work is not the answer, teaching them to their level is more appropriate.

    As much as I have been against home schooling, it might just be the answer if you can't get what your child needs in a public school.

    1. And I just want to cry for you guys! It's awesome he's found a job, but now this? I hope you can get your kids the kind of program they need to thrive!

    1. I think it's what they've done with the results that is the biggest problem. If a school is failing, they lose funding. From my POV, if a school is failing, then they need MORE funding, not less. It's usually because of lack of funds that schools fail. I guess that is probably my biggest problem, is that they're looking at it backwards. I guess they could offer funding based on number of students. That would probably be the most logical assessment of it.

  2. All the government needs to do is provide the funding based on the number of children, no stipulations! Testing can go back to just being an assessment tool for teachers to gage their teaching.

  3. As a former high school teacher, this subject has so many contributing factors & things to consider. There are many who want to see teachers pay tied to performance and if that happens, the idea of "teaching to the test" will get FAR worse!

    1. O my goodness that would by far make things worse!!! You are right, there are many contributing factors, so it's not a cut and dry issue. Something does need to change though.

  4. So glad to hear people that are close to education speak up! Since I graduated HS I've come to the realization that things are getting far worse than they already were. As a mom of a 2 year old, I have already started thinking about what this means for my daughter. Even as a toddler, she has a large vocabulary and is very bright. I'd like to think that she will progress at an astounding rate all throughout her life, but unfortunately I think we're headed for the downhill if "I" don't do something! Thanks for standing up for education! 🙂

    1. Kerry, as a mom these issues really do make us think more. There are so many parents out there who just don't care though, and it's so sad to see. They expect teachers to raise their kids, and do it perfectly as well. Parents NEED to be involved in every aspect and work with the teachers to get their kids learning on their level.
      Sounds like you have a very bright 2 year old! I love when they begin talking and you can really see them grow!

  5. would be lovely to have it catered to each kid, I remember really thriving in some places but not others, cause I didn't in others I would fall behind in everything…. kinda sucked…. BUT I think all teens struggle with that… damn hormones…

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