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A question about (the change in) testing

August 13, 2013 am31 11:19 am

The frequency of tests in schools probably hasn’t changed much in the last few generations… but the type of tests, their nature, duration, consequences… those have changed.

“Was your education harmed by the lack of today’s testing program?”

When I was a kid a few decades ago, we took classroom tests at about the same rate (I think) as kids take them today. We also took bubble-in standardized tests every year or two during elementary school. Iowa. Lorge-Thorndike. There was no preparation. We generally did not see the results. In my state, at that time, there were no standardized high school exams. New York had regents, which some, but not all, kids took.

Today there are annual tests in English and math, grades 3 – 8, and a pile of Regents exams, minimum of five required. Students see the results of their exams, and in some cases important decisions are based on those results. (middle schools look at them, high schools look at them, promotion decisions are made based on them, the Regents are required for graduation). Schools prepare students specifically for these exams.

But there’s a question, just one, that I want to ask today.  “Was your education harmed by the lack of today’s testing program?”

Unfortunately, the people I’d most like to ask, I don’t think they will answer. But that shouldn’t stop us from asking them.

Oh, and as you do ask, you can safely take their silence as a “no.”

(I think the question needs rewording. “Would your education have been better if you’d had today’s tests?”  “What skills or knowledge did you miss by not taking today’s tests?  Idk. But suggestions are welcome)

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 13, 2013 pm31 9:06 pm 9:06 pm

    Hello from Francis
    One UFT slogan has been “Let Teachers Teach” if I am not in error. Given the proper training or staff developments and developing teaching experience the New York City Public School Teachers should be allowed to test their students . Is teacher a professional? If yes good- bye testing company ,multiples city ,state exams or external entities. I mean public education never depends upon politicians anywhere in the world like in New York and a few other places. Testing as we know it becomes problematic. The one -man rule system put into place by Albany in the NYC Public Schools is another impediment to a normal testing program. For teachers have no say in the decision -making process as a whole. Remember I did my high school years outside United States like millions of other immigrants who came to America from everyplace on our planet.Hope you read my commentary re “A question about (the change in) testing…JD2718.

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