Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Since When Has Standardized Testing Become The Child's Decision?

Listening to CNN, I heard the journalist say that a child had decided standardized testing was against her religious/personal beliefs--the same justification that is used against required school vaccinations. This is one of the problems with the American Education system, in my opinion. Are we allowing children to have too much power over their education?

There were some valid reasons why the child did not believe in the testing; one being that it is used to evaluate the teachers, and some teachers will lose their jobs if the students do not perform at the designated learning level. That, in my opinion, is a valid argument. Not wanting to be compared to students internationally, makes sense, too, but tests must be used in order to assess a child's learning and to use such justifiable reasons for not taking a test is unacceptable. Testing is a very important part of the learning process.

I have issues with testing. I think that it would be an easier and more accurate measure if all students were taught from the same lesson plan. I believe that lesson plans should be standardized. Education is changing. Students are now attending middle and high school online, schools are closing, and the use and knowledge of technology is now a requirement rather than an elective.

I can see this issue backfiring and all students opting to not be tested. That would make the public education system worse and be a boon to those who can afford to attend private schooling. I was fortunate enough to have attended excellent schools. I did not feel the pressure from the standardized tests because our lesson plans had been created to teach us what we could anticipate to see on the tests.

CNN also said that the recession has hit women harder than men. The reason? Female-dominated fields are now welcoming more men. Two of the fields named? Education and Health care.  

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