@John C. C.--your statement may have been true twenty years ago, but not
today.It's people from other countries who design our car
engines, and transmissions. They are our doctors, engineers, and chemists. You
need to look past your Utah area.Entitlements have changed our
people's motivation, and values.
Has testing improved student learning, or has it been a waste of time, and
money?IMO--teaching, and learning--exceed test taking, and scoring.
U.S. graduates still lead the world, despite what you hear from detractors.
It's not just about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math(STEM.) Our
graduates dominate because of creativity, leadership, collaboration,
cross-disciplinary cooperation, communication and adaptability. They are also
the most likely to have a broad education in the humanities and liberal arts.
We don't test for that. Nations who focus narrowly on STEM will produce
the engineers best capable of copying and running U.S. technology.
The absolute sadness of this article is that for years educators have been
telling those who espouse the use of test scores for all things accountable that
this practice is problematic. Children are suffering under the onslaught of
testing as opposed to teaching and the narrowing of curriculum in order to pass
a test.Teachers have been humiliated and are leaving the profession
because of the shaming of the teacher utilizing test scores to determine
efficacy.Give education back to the educators! The testing craze has
benefited the testing companies and fed the anti-public education folks in their
quest to privatize public education.
Some remarks on the accountability of test scores:* eighty percent
of New York HS graduates can't read. How did they graduate with poor
reading scores?* half our college graduates are from other
countries.* half of our college students need remedial classes.* most of our skilled doctors, engineers, and chemists are
foreigners.* about half our citizens are on some form of welfare.It appears we've wasted alot of money, and time on test scoring.
Oh my goodness! Really? Seriously hope this is not news to anyone.
Another problem with high stakes testing is that it is only "high
stakes" for teachers and schools, not students.As an
example--for 7th graders taking the Utah CRT or any other standardized test,
their performance has no effect on their scholastic careers. If they score a
zero, what happens? Nothing, they are promoted to the 8th grade. If they have a
perfect score, they will also be promoted to the 8th grade. There is no
difference. Scores do not affect their report cards, grade promotions, or even
future classes. Students know this--and in an era of being overtested (at my jr.
high, 1 month out of the 9 months of school are spent in the computer lab doing
mandated tests), students are not taking these tests very seriously, whether
consciously or unconsciously.The only ones "responsible" for
this test taking are the teachers and school. Hardly fair when there is
absolutely no motivation for students. This is one of the biggest shams in Utah