The Testing Factor

     I remember a time when kids went to school and got grades like A, B, C, and so on.  What happened to that?  Was it too competitive?  What's wrong with a little competition?  How can the generations of the future hope to compete in a global market if they can't handle a little bit in school?

     It seems like these days grades are a thing of the past.  You don't really get to know how well you did anymore.  You get to know if you are proficient, advanced proficient, or not proficient.  What is wrong with this picture?  When did kids going to school become only about the scores they make, rather than what they learn?  Some kids are great at using the material, but not so good taking tests.  We should fail them then because they cannot make the grade on a piece of paper?

     What about kids that are great test takers and learn at an advanced stage, but are not challenged enough?  A lot of these types of children do not do the homework, because they fail to see the point.  The test is to see if I know the material.  If they score high on the test, it stands to reason that they probably know the material.  Yet many of these students will get failed because they don't do the homework (part of their grade).

     Is there maybe a better way to teach our kids?  I like the idea of teaching them in a hands on type of environment, similar to a technical college.  The tests could then be given by the teacher in many different formats to allow all students the chance to excel.  Kids would learn some really useful skills and feel less stressed over all these standardized tests.   Just a thought.

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4 thoughts on “The Testing Factor

  1. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in elementary education and (though I cannot speak for Virginia where you are) I do know that here in Missouri where I am certified, several of these issue are and have been address to find better solutions. I know that differentiating our lesson plans is something that is pushed a lot here in Missouri so I hope that it is across the Nation as well. This simply means that as teachers we develop our lesson plan then we differentiate that lesson to accommodate for our students who are on different levels within the classroom. We would create an assignment for the lower level learners that challenges them but doesn’t ask for the questions to be answered maybe as in depth as the regular assignment. We obviously still want to push them so we don’t make it really easy either. Then we develop a slightly more difficult version from the regular assignment for the above level learners so that they are still being challenged as well and do not get bored with the work they are doing. This way they are all doing work from the same lesson but just at slightly different levels to suite their particular learning needs. Also the testing issue is a big one… here in Missouri there has been a lot of talk and discussions about getting away from the standardized “bubble tests” and using portfolio type of assessments instead as well as performance based assessments (these would be assessments such as science projects, research papers, speech readings, etc.) If they would use some non-traditional ways of “testing” what the students know I think it would benefit everyone! Anyway, I didn’t mean to get all technical on this post I just wanted to let everyone know that there are people in the education system that are working to get some changes made in order to make the public education system better! There is just soooo much to change and get done and a lot of it all depends on the government which makes it harder! After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day! And don’t get me wrong, even though I am certified to teach, I have highly considered continuing to stay home with my daughter when she gets older and home schooling instead of teaching! But I try to stay positive about it though and I will see how I feel in a few years. I think great things are slowly happening! 🙂
    Amy Lou recently posted…Lets Talk About Compassion – College Students Show Us How It’s Done!My Profile

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