"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, September 16, 2006

State standardized test time

It's testing time again. It's time for us to stop teaching and devote way too many hours to testing our kids. The high school graduation exam, especially, is a painful thing to administer - and to take.

Note to students taking the high school graduation exam:
If you don't pass...you don't graduate. It doesn't matter what you have done during your time in high school...you must pass this ONE test to graduate. Classroom work is not as important...the work that you have done for 180 days a year...for 4 years...is not as important as how you do on this one test. Your entire future hangs in the balance...

...but no pressure.

Teachers in our school system have been told that we cannot give A's or B's to students who have not passed the state standardized tests. What an incredibly stupid idea.

Is it possible that you might have a student who works hard, does all of his or her assignments, completes homework, passes classroom assessments, yet fails the standardized test for whatever reason? It doesn't matter. Everyone has to pass the test...and if they don't, no amount of make up work, or daily achievement will matter. Everyone has to be the same.

The new slogan in American education...One size fits all. Everyone is - or has to be - identical. There's no room for an Edison, an Einstein, or a Mozart. Pass the test...pass the test...don't worry about anything else...

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