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View Diary: Standardized Testing Wastes Much More Than Money (90 comments)

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  •  They waste a lot of instructional time as well, (11+ / 0-)

    between prepping for the test, taking it, subs while teachers grade, and so on.  Tests chew up a lot of time and disrupt the school class room routines, which also wastes time. In a classroom, every change in routine has the potential to take up instructional time.  

    •  And yet (11+ / 0-)

      the media continually fails to expose the privateers who are pushing this false narrative of the value of testing.

    •  I have three high-schoolers presently (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda Wood

      and none of them are receiving any test prepping!  Where is all this classroom test prepping taking place of which you speak?

      I have to purchase material and conduct my own test prepping  each weekend, then pay for my own test center fees.

      •  Lucky you! (4+ / 0-)

        I'm not talking about SATs.  

        I'm talking about yearly assessment tests in basic subjects like English and Math, Social Studies, and so on, administered in every grade from third on up in my state  These tests don't affect your child's grades, but supposedly give a snapshot of school instructional success on a yearly basis.  Mandated by No Child Left Behind, Bush's Education Act, they are required by any district that accepts Federal funds.

        You wouldn't be purchasing review books for a test that meant nothing in your child's future, so you're probably prepping your high school student for ACTs or SATs, yes?

        •  In my high school (5+ / 0-)

          there are six teachers who do nothing but prepare materials and track scores of past testing and practice testing.  There are pull-outs from regular elective classes (many of which are career and vocational classes--valuable for the future) to work on standardized testing.  There are after-school and Saturday tutorials with extra pay for teachers who conduct Saturday tutorials.   Pizza is served because it gets students to come.  

          There is an outrageous amount of time and money spent on standardized testing in public schools.  I'm sure it is a coincidence that some companies who are profiting from it have owners who are friends or family members of the Bushes.  The contribution Barbara Bush made after Katrina was to Neil Bush's company that helps prepare students for testing.  

          We have many students in my high school who have consistently failed the standardized tests throughout the years, but because there is also pressure to promote them to the next grade, pass through the system.  We get them in high school years behind in skills and knowledge, but our school is dinged as academically unacceptable.

          It is ridiculous, and companies are making a lot of money from it.

      •  Title I districts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, bluedust, maf1029

        where students can least afford loss of instructional time are the ones that do this.

        In my high school, performance tests are administered four times per year.  The testing window runs for weeks at a time as students are pulled out of class.  The responsibility for identifying students who are to be pulled out for make up testing is dumped entirely on the classroom teacher.

        During the testing windows, the library is closed and the computer carts are requisitioned for testing.  We have no computer labs. This amounts to at least four months out of the school year.

        People who went to good middle class schools themselves or send their children to such schools simply cannot imagine what urban schools are like today.

        Light is seen through a small hole.

        by houyhnhnm on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:12:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My kids are in Title I inner city schools. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood

          They have some excellent teachers and some awful teachers.  I have had teachers write notes to me filled with basic grammatical errors where the subject and verb do not match!

          I have had chemistry teachers that did not know that an acid mixed with an alkali gives a salt and water.

          I had a math teacher give out a division study sheet where numbers divided by zero equal zero.  

          I hope that you are not suggesting that the classroom teacher should be the final judge as to what should be taught in class, and what is correct and what is incorrect without any higher authority having a way to check if what the teacher is teaching is enough, or even correct.

          Not all parents had a good basic education and can raise hell at the school when incorrect information is being taught.  

          There needs to be a higher authority that checks this, and there is no other way than to test the students.

          •  Once again straw man srikes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            historys mysteries, maf1029

            There are some incompetent teachers -- duh!
            Therefore we have to close libraries, interrupt instruction, and spend half the year on testing.  

            BTW, weren't you arguing upthread that the purpose of standardized testing is to assess students, not teachers.

            Your persona is starting to strain credulity.

            Light is seen through a small hole.

            by houyhnhnm on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:17:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course the test is to test the student! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Linda Wood

              If the student was not taught the material, who is responsibility?  If the test shows that the student did not absorb the material, is it not also a reflection on the teacher?

              This is a necessary but very distant secondary purpose of testing students.

              The same way that a jobs for teachers is a distant secondary purpose for the existence of schools. Surely some of you teachers can agree with this.  No?

              •  The narrative you pose (0+ / 0-)

                Is simply not what is happening in the classrooms. Please pay attention to the various posts here and you may come to realize that.

                •  I often go to the schools and sit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Linda Wood

                  through classes.  Perhaps you need to step back and see what is taking place from the perspective of the children.  

                  You will then understand that schools exist to educate the children, not to provide jobs.  Schools and teachers need to be evaluated based on how well they are accomplishing this.

                  Only by testing the children can this be evaluated.  The opinion of individual teachers is not enough.  There needs to be a higher authority to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching methods.

                  Effectiveness of teaching methods can only be measured by testing the students.

              •  Oh and your "incompetent" chem teacher? (0+ / 0-)

                Maybe what s/he said was that water is the only product of an [Arrhenius] acid-base reaction because the conjugates are spectator ions and don't participate in the reaction. And you just didn't get it.

                Light is seen through a small hole.

                by houyhnhnm on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:55:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was there and the chemistry teacher (0+ / 0-)

                  had no clue.   There was no "maybe this", "maybe that" excuse.  It was more of a "my degree is in education, not chemistry, I don't need to know that".  

                  I am awaiting your explanation about the division by zero equal zero  study sheet, (copied and distributed to an entire grade of the elementary school).

              •  Perhaps the teachers who sent home notes (0+ / 0-)

                with grammatical errors were in a hurry!  Maybe they had 32 kids getting ready to leave for the day.  It's possible that their phone was ringing with a parent call.  Perhaps they had to arrange bus passes for students.  You never know.

                Apparently you were in a hurry when you typed this:

                If the student was not taught the material, who is responsibility?
                I assume that you're sitting in relative quiet in the comfort of your home.  Even so, that sentence is grammatically incorrect.

                Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

                by RuralLiberal on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:14:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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