A NJSpotlight.com article reports on parents throughout NJ who are opting out of having their children take the NJ ASK exams. A New York Times article reports on similar concerns in NYC and nationwide about the standardized testing being a negative. The concerns of parents are also echoed by numerous teachers: the obsession with standardized testing has gone too far.
Recently working with my third grader on her math homework, I was pretty shocked to see she had covered close to two hundred pages of material in a week. I really didn’t believe it, and rightfully so. Our Oakland students would be racing through five or six math books a year at that pace.
I knew the sudden jump was really an effort to cover material that would be appearing on the NJ ASK exam.
While many parents will point to the unnecessary stress of high stakes testing on young students, and/or the minimal value these tests have on improving education, my recent grip is purely about how this sdrawkcab ssa approach to education is counter-productive. A test is supposed to evaluate what has been taught, so teaching to the test is sdrawkcab ssa.
Ironically, in order to prove the destructive nature of standardized testing, I must use standardized testing like the PISA. Globally exams such as this one show American students slipping, although NJ itself compares pretty good globally.
The concern with this global comparison is focused acutely on math and science. These are considered the sciences and skills that are fundamental to our economy in terms of engineering new products, making new medical discoveries, and keeping America a global leader in innovation.
So, to meet those goals, we are pursuing a trend in education that revolves around standardized testing. We want to assure our students measure up globally, so we teach to the test. We race to cover material that will appear on the test, and in turn create an environment where students become frustrated by the very subjects we are seeking to promote as a nation….This is ass-backwards.