Friday, April 29, 2016

High Stakes Testing

High Stakes Testing

     A report last year indicated that standardized tests are unpredictable and unreliable from state to state.  For example, a student making a high score in Arizona may not score as high in Connecticut or Massachusettes where student achievement is higher.  Why?  Because those states have more rigorous tests.

      I shudder at the amount of money that is spent in the United States on testing.  It's probably enough to solve the economic crisis of a third world country.  

     The test results can determine whether children are promoted from  one grade to the next, whether teachers get raises, whether teachers will even retain their jobs.

     It's different in Finland where standardized tests are not used, children have more time to play, and high school students start school later in the day.  Yet Finnish students lead the world in academic achievement.  I just read "The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way."  We could learn a lot from the methods of the Finns.

     According to "The Smartest Kids in the World," education is a central consideration in the lives of children in the superpowers.  In the past, they had experienced failure, and they knew what crisis felt like.  In the U.S., many feel that we have skewed our priorities.  (118, 119

     In the U. S., sports are a central concern, actually, they overtake academics in priority.  In the educational elite countries (Korea, Finland, Poland), students spend about half the time with athletics compared to the U. S.  Sports really have nothing to do with education, and the emphasis there waters down the academic achievement of our students.  In other countries, sports are often managed by outside clubs or community.  It is rare to find a teacher who is also a coach

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