how do u all feel about standardized tests as well as a mandatory national standarized tests? should these scores determine if a child go to the next grade? i agree with chicago public schools focus on k,3,6,8 these are the key target grades of a child's development. even better i think more emphasizes should be placed on preschool education as well b/c the ages 0-5 are most critical in a child's development. but my problem with standardized tests, beyond the fact that they weren't made for or by us, is that there has been a reported number of cases here in chicago where the child gets A's,B's,C's on their progress report but because they do not do well on the standarized test they are forced to go to summer school and possibly repeat the same grade. at that point i think that the classroom environment and teaching methodology needs to be assessed. actually, there are so many reasons why kids don't do well on standardized tests and the cure isn't to simply fail the child. these band-aids that school systems use are counter-productive. so the kid fails what do u do to prevent them from failing again. i remember when i was in high school and the administrators would come into the 'gifted and talented' classrooms telling us that the school is depending on us to do well on our standarized tests b/c we were the 'creme of the crop', i use to laugh b/c how in the heck they gonna put pressure on this small percentage of students to do well on the test so that our school wouldn't be closed, that was some bullshit. another concern i have with these tests is that are teachers properly trained to prepare students to take these tests. it isn't as simple as making sure u include all subjects in the curriculum but their are test taking skills that need to be taught. i seriously think that teacher education programs in colleges/universities need to reassessed. --------sig----------- IF U WANNA BE PUT ON THE CHI.ACTIVIST E-MAIL LIST, OR IF U WANNA HELP AT THE 10/23 CONCERT EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------- Monthly Book Discussion in OkayActivist Sept. 19 "Move Over Girl" Brian Peterson Oct. 16 "Yo Mama's Dysfunktional" Robin Kelley Nov. 13 "Coldest Winter Ever" Sister Souljah GET YO READ ON ......... nappiness is next to Godliness!!!!!! ms. nappiness ---------- http://www.geocities.com/okay_poets/begin.html
Standardized tests do far more to hurt a child's development than they could ever do to help them. I don't know how they do it where you're at, but currently in Washington they have testing every year for grades 2, 4, and 8 (I think that's it, but you get the jist of it). Waaaaay too often teachers have to focus on teaching kids how to pass the tests because the results are tied to funding, teaching performance, and whole bunch of other stuff that means nill to the actual students. It's a distraction more than anything else. Besides, even the most standard of standardized tests can't tell how smart a kid is or how much they've learned. Even teachers don't like them (at least the ones that I have heard talk about them). They're more trouble than they're worth. I say get rid of them as soon as possible.
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Standardized Tests should only be used as entrance exams to high schools and Higher Ed., not to see whether or not a school gets funding or to use as a district's "report card". I hated with a passion tkaing the IGAP(Illinois Goal Assesment Program) Test. Everybody, even the teachers and Admin. didn't see the value nor the purpose of taking this exam.
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3. "RE: Standardized Tests in Schools..........." In response to Reply # 0
No I don't agree with standarized test. A+ student since kindergarten but I remember entering highschool and having to take remedial math because I didn't score high enough on the test and then in college I hit remedial math again because not scoring high enough on the entry exam. My college is now cracking down on all the remedial english and math students (mostly minority) stating that if they don't take the class within the first year they will be kicked out of school (their not playing either). And I keep hearing over and over from students that they were in Trigonometry or Algorithms or Honors English and can't understand why their in remedial classes. Do we just blame it on the public schools or does the test have a whole lot to do with it?
The point of standardized tests is to take the subjective teacher out of the equation. The classic example of the poor teacher spends the grading period not teaching anything, gives a meaningless exam, and then curves out the grades to give an indication that some students learned and others didn't. At the very least, teachers will have an incentive to treat children differently -- they like this child, don't like that one, give this one the benefit of the doubt, grade based on progress rather than absolute value, etc. Teachers who can't do their job should be weeded out -- and not teaching children the basics is a good indicator that the teacher isn't doing the job.
We need the balance of both subjective teacher grading and standardized tests. If either one of the measures could be corrected to balance out the errors, then we would only need one.
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5. "RE: Standardized Tests in Schools..........." In response to Reply # 0
>hey ya'll, > >how do u all feel about >standardized tests as well as >a mandatory national standarized tests?
I think they are a good idea.
> should these scores determine >if a child go to >the next grade?
To middle school, to high school, and then to college.
>but my problem with standardized >tests, beyond the fact that >they weren't made for or >by us,
Explain the cultural biasing of the mathematic or english tests. My mom is a teacher, and tried to explain it to me, but I just didn't get it. I do really well at standardized tests, and I can't imagine a better way to compare a large # of students. How can you tell if a school system works? Do you wait to see what kind of salaries they pull down after graduation?
is that there >has been a reported number >of cases here in chicago >where the child gets A's,B's,C's >on their progress report but >because they do not do >well on the standarized test >they are forced to go >to summer school and possibly >repeat the same grade.
Obviously they didn't learn something.
at >that point i think that >the classroom environment and teaching >methodology needs to be assessed.
>actually, there are so many >reasons why kids don't do >well on standardized tests and >the cure isn't to simply >fail the child.
Test stress? Ill preparation?
> i remember when i was >in high school and the >administrators would come into the >'gifted and talented' classrooms telling >us that the school is >depending on us to do >well on our standarized tests >b/c we were the 'creme >of the crop',
I never got that kind of pressure in G/t, but I was mad I didn't make it back in elementary school, when being G/T meant weekly field trips and other cool stuff.
> another concern i have with >these tests is that are >teachers properly trained to prepare >students to take these tests.
Ideally, you shouldn't teach the test. When i was tutoring I found myself preparing 5th graders for the TAAS test. They really needed to understand fractions. Which for my mostly minority kids wasn't happening. Norman's mom knew fractions, but she didn't understand the "new" math. Hell, I didn't understand the "new" math either. But it was certainly difficult to teach kids math in a new manner than I was accustomed to.
and when did they start breaking out word problems for 5th graders. Those were the bonus questions in the advanced 5th grade class at my elementary. Word Problems are difficult for adults cause the combine both reading comprehension with math. But I digress.
>it isn't as simple as >making sure u include all >subjects in the curriculum but >their are test taking skills >that need to be taught.
No doubt. But unfortunatley I don't have an education degree, cause I don't really understand how you teach that.
>i seriously think that teacher education >programs in colleges/universities need to >reassessed.
For all sorts of reasons. The fact that few teacher colleges have professional programs akin to being a doctor or lawyer is a major problem. Teaching is pretty much taught like every other subject. But the mental/emotional toll on a new teacher is far greater than that on a new business major or engineer. There is generally not a lot of good support/mentoring for brand new teachers. And the typical route is to throw a new teacher into the hardest school and hope that they survive.
But there are a lot of structural questions with education.
What do we really NEED to teach? I could buzz word it with skill sets, employable skills, problem solving, critical thinking..but I don't know
I also find it interesting that we want so much stratification with our students. Wouldn't we want 95% of our students to understand 100% of the material we teach them, as opposed to 10%. I see a lot of that in college. Where you are sorted by your natural ability and not your desire to learn. I saw this in both the college of engineering and the college of liberal arts.
Kinda scary I had to really learn to write online and not in school.
6. "RE: Standardized Tests in Schools..........." In response to Reply # 5
>I see a lot of >that in college. Where >you are sorted by your >natural ability and not your >desire to learn. I >saw this in both the >college of engineering and the >college of liberal arts.
from my experience, by the time you get to college you should have a fair assesment at your strengths and weaknesses ... usually someone is strong in something because they desired to learn it previously and thus became strong at that particular thing .... so i wouldn't give it a negative connotation as you seem to be doing (i could be wrong)
i just think that at the college age, especially at liberal arts schools like brown, people have a desire to learn things that they might not be initially good at, and success anyway ... but that's just my personal experience
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7. "RE: Standardized Tests in Schools..........." In response to Reply # 6
> >from my experience, by the time >you get to college you >should have a fair assesment >at your strengths and weaknesses
I honestly don't think most people do that. Particularly in light of what college is about. "I can write papers", or "I'm good at Math" is not really a good assesment of self. But that's just my take on it.
And college prep courses don't do enough "Not teaching".
>... usually someone is strong >in something because they desired >to learn it previously and >thus became strong at that >particular thing
Most folks at 18-19 don't really know what they want to do at the beginning of their college careers. And considering that they spent the last 18 years at home with Moms and the dog, I wouldn't expect them too. I really think college is wasted on cats that age. If they made folks work til 21 (I don't know how you would do this), they would value an education.
.... so i >wouldn't give it a negative >connotation as you seem to >be doing (i could be >wrong)
Me too. It's a discussion on a true or false quiz, luckily.
>i just think that at the >college age, especially at liberal >arts schools like brown, people >have a desire to learn >things that they might not >be initially good at, and >success anyway ... but that's >just my personal experience
I almost think that is the wrong thing to teach folks. You should dedicate your life to what you are good at, as opposed to what you might be interested in. Our entire school system is based on this idea, hence tracking for special ed, gifted and talented, and athletes.
8. "RE: Standardized Tests in Schools..........." In response to Reply # 0
I agree that standardized tests are needed, but they should not cause a child who has passing grades for a year to repeat a grade. I have taught for the past two years, and I've seen it happen more than once, and to a disproportionate number of minority students. Quality teacher education programs need to be the norm, and systems need an alternative assessment like portfolios of student work to use along with standardized tests.
10. "rememebr that good times epsiode..." In response to Reply # 0
there is no standard child so there should be on standard test... those test can eff a child up... test like that will have a child giving op on him self before they begin to have fatih in them selves... stop testing the children and teach them...
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11. "The Militant Midget?" In response to Reply # 10
I remember that episode, but I think that spoke more to the cultural biases inherent in a lot of tests. I remember Angieee talking about a multiple choice test.
Cindy is combing her hair how long does it take.
1. 15 secs 2. 15 minutes 3. 3 hours.
The "right" choice was 2, 15 minutes, but for the lucky child with Afrikan roots, it could be 3 hours to braid, curl, or style. Not everyone has easy to care for straight locks. (and if you ask them, it ain't that easy either.)
But back to Florida Evans. I think she might be a best case scenario. She knew that michael was smart, and she could find the resources to have them adjust their thinking. But I think if Florida Evans is a best case scenario, I still think we would be in trouble. Florida wouldn't have known whether or not to push Michael into taking pre-calculus vs trigonmetry. Florida might have thought that being label special ed was bad, but might not know what her son should have learned in grade 5.
Folks don't know the half when they talk about fixing education.