"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

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted

Standardized tests do not and cannot measure everything which is important in school. The practice of using tests to evaluate schools, school districts and teachers is a misuse of testing. In their book Reducing the Risk, Increasing the Promise authors Sherrel Bergmann and Judith Allen Brough detail six skills which students, especially at risk students, require to be successful:
  • Resilience
  • Resourcefulness
  • Responsibility
  • Relationships
  • Respect
  • Reading
Of the six listed, only Reading is tested. Imagine trying to reduce the personal traits of resilience or respect to a series of multiple choice questions...obviously it can't be done.

Yet these skills are essential if at risk students are to be successful in life. The overuse and misuse of standardized tests squeezes out essential experiences which help children develop these skills. The assumed purpose of the increased focus on testing is to improve the education of children. However, the unintended consequence of our nation's testing obsession is that the damage to our children most at risk for failure is increased, not decreased.

The infographic below lists the skills and tells a bit about them. The overview below is from Eye on Education...

Infographic: Six Skills to Reduce the Risk and Increase the Promise of Your Students
In Reducing the Risk, Increasing the Promise: Strategies for Student Success, Sherrel Bergmann and Judith Allen Brough provide a clear path to follow for helping your at-risk students achieve success in and out of the classroom. Packed with actionable items for school leaders, teachers, and parents, this book provides a basis for effective communication between school and home, and important piece of the puzzle often overlooked.

This infographic outlines six skills students need to be successful in school, and in everyday life.
It's way past time to find a way to educate our children to be more than just reading and math test takers.



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Stop the Testing Insanity!


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