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Frankly, I Think She’s On To Something

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone today (and I have a ton of stuff to do), so no Spin Cycle today – I’ll post it tomorrow.  However, I thought I’d post this because I found it both hilarious and thought-provoking:

I know a few of my readers are educators, and even more have children that are either school-aged or have graduated from public schools and I’d really like your thoughts on this.

Texas was the very first state in the country to have standardized testing, which means that our kids were among the first to be put through the grist-mill. Beloved and I have very serious issues with standardized testing – as the parents of five children, we can tell you there is absolutely nothing standard about them.  Couple this with the fact that OGT testing – the standardized test here in Ohio that a child must pass in order to graduate – is being administered this week (and has completely disrupted The Young One’s schedule AND education), well, I’d like your opinions.

Standardized testing – what do you think of it?


19 comments

We call them FCATS here. The teachers hate them. The students hate them. I hate them by proxy.
I haven’t heard any benefits out of them except a grade for the school, and stress for the people in it.
.-= Sprite’s Keeper´s last blog ..RTT: Showing my age one carrot at a time. =-.

Mama Badger says:

I always thought that in order for a standardized test to show anything, we first need to standardize education, and then standardize teachers, funding, opportunity, parents, and finally children.

I understand why people want them (because how else would you be able to compare kids for admission to college and things like that), but I don’t really think they are as relevant as people make them seem (thank you Mr. Bush).
.-= Mama Badger´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts =-.

Timely post. I took PR to school EARLY today for the California state PE test. Yes, regular standardized testing is not enough … they add PE into the mix. He was thrilled to wake up early for THAT – especially since he’s been home sick with the stomach flu all week. Nothing like waking up early to run the mile and do sit ups and push ups when you’ve not held anything in your stomach for three days. Since he’s an “athlete” and his sports have counted as PE credits it should be an interesting experience. He can hit a baseball really far, but somehow I don’t think that will translate into pull-ups.
.-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Time Suck =-.

Be says:

Here’s what I don’t understand about Ohio. They perform this all important test the first thing in the morning the day after the Spring time change. So teens, already at school hours before their brains are even close to being alert now get to take these tests while their body clocks are screwed up. Government bureaucratic stupidity at its finest!

Erin says:

Not a fan. As a teacher, as a parent, as a human being.
It’s all stooooooopid.
And will change soon – because it always does.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..putting jello back together =-.

Tessa says:

I like this quote from a teacher about the emphasis on standardized testing: “It’s like a farmer constantly weighing a calf, but forgetting to feed it.” Says it all, I think.
.-= Tessa´s last blog ..Plus ca change …* =-.

Gretchen says:

Testing is one of the reasons that Jude is in a private school. Kids in LA public schools are tested out the wazoo. It’s part of the whole “No Child Left Behind” debacle, all their funding is based on the testing. So teachers are forced to “teach to the test”. It’s become a HUGE argument. They’re getting just what’s on the test, with little else. And CA schools are so broke right now, they need all the funding they can get.

And “stinky booger-brained boys” is, unfortunately the answer to every question.

I don’t know enough about the subject to provide a truly educated response. ;)

No really, like you, I don’t think there is anything standard about kids. Seems silly to me. I figure there must be other ways to determine funding. (cause that’s what they’re for right?)
.-= Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt´s last blog ..That can’t be good. =-.

LPC says:

I sent my kids to the same progressive school that I attended. http://www.peninsulaschool.org/. They don’t even give GRADES.:)
.-= LPC´s last blog ..On The Ground Retail With Style Statements And Cheerful Prep At Target =-.

Duchess says:

Please, Jan, I cannot read this teeny tiny print.
.-= Duchess´s last blog ..Gorilla warfare =-.

I am so right there with you. There is nothing ‘standard’ about anyone. At all. Bah humbug! ;)
.-= Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)´s last blog ..Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Nagger Tracks and Happy St. Patrick’s Day =-.

rubbish says:

Yet another way we differ over the pond I guess. We used to have the eleven plus which if you passed got you into Grammar school but now there’s nothing. I assume that you are on about kids of 11 being tested?
.-= rubbish´s last blog ..Dublin 2010 =-.

Pseudo says:

Well. I say. It’s totally fucked up. Loved the cartoon.
.-= Pseudo´s last blog ..Scenes From Behind the Blog: A Spin Cycle Production =-.

Don’t get me started! My son, who is very smart but lazy in school, could ace any standardized test. My older daughter did very well, but she’s the ideal student. My youngest is SO smart but has learning issues and doesn’t do so well on standardized tests, altho she gets A’s in school. Teachers skip over interesting lessons because they have to cover what will be on the tests. Kids are stressed. I agree there has to be some barometer, but there must be a better way. They’re not assessing how well kids are learning; they’re assessing how well they can take this particular type of test. And that’s ridiculous and not a service to anyone. Even those who do well.
.-= Maureen@IslandRoar´s last blog ..Spin Cycle: Blogging =-.

Gunfighter says:

Teaching the test is a bunch of garbage, and all too familiar here in Virginia, where we call the Stansdard of Learning tests (or SOLs).

I agree with the commenter about standardizing education, learning, teachers, funding etc… before standardized testing can be meaningful.

From where I sit (my youngest is a fifth grader, and the oldest is a junior in college), teaching a test can make children regurgitate facts and other things, but it doesn’t EDUCATE them… which is something else entirely.
.-= Gunfighter´s last blog ..Business Review: CarMax =-.

Mrsbear says:

It sucks ass. While none of my kids have had a problem with the Florida version, I know for a fact teacher’s spend a good portion of the first half of the year, “teaching the test” and basically grooming kids to pass. So little of what they do is really educating them. It’s a shame.
.-= Mrsbear´s last blog ..Aren’t They Precious? =-.

Mrsbear says:

Okay, my punctuation was all over the place back there. Pardon me, product of the public school system passing through. :(
.-= Mrsbear´s last blog ..Aren’t They Precious? =-.

Patty says:

I HATE standardized testing. I taught high school in inner-city Chicago for 3 years and college for 4 years, and I can say I think the tests are ridiculous. Even when I was a student, I could see they weren’t accurate. I did very poorly on the ACT, yet I managed to get a Master’s degree in Education, so I don’t really think the ACT accurately predicted my aptitude.

As a teacher, I think they suck. They are all about memorization and regurgitation instead of critical thinking. Some kids excel at memorization and some are really good test takers. But most kids don’t do so well. My son, who has high functioning autism, is super smart, but even in kindergarten when they have done testing to put the kids in reading groups, Danny froze up because the tests were timed.

I agree with Mrs. Bear about teachers being pressured to teach the test. Thanks to “No Child Left Behind” and other stupid legislation, teachers are actually being penalized if their kids don’t do well, even though most educators are well aware of the limitations of those tests. I wish they would just revamp the system.
.-= Patty´s last blog ..maybe I AM a superhero =-.

Mary Anne says:

The Girl had her first day of MCAS on Tuesday, the Massachusetts standardized tests that every student must pass to graduate. I hate them and I hate the fact that they are probably necessary, given the restrictions on teachers. I hate that a good portion of the school year is geared toward teaching to the test, I hate that they spend five whole days, spread out over a couple of weeks (thankfully) on the tests. I hate that there are some kids that are not good test takers that can get so discouraged by the process. (Thankfully, The Girl does okay with tests, just spends the day “Bored, bored, bored” after she’s done.)
My uncle is a retired high school math teacher. He fought and fought until the day he retired for the ability to be able to fail students that did not meet the requirements of his courses. Every time he failed a student, he had to document and justify his decision. If he had just let them through (which had most likely happened in previous years as they were completely ill prepared when they reached him), everyone would have been “happy.” This sorry state of affairs is what has let us to all this standardized testing. This also led my uncle to retire as soon as he was able… he just didn’t want to fight the fight anymore.
.-= Mary Anne´s last blog ..Dear So-And-So . . . =-.

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