Friday, June 25, 2010
A friend sent me a link from the New York Times concerning cheating with high stakes testing. Across the country, teachers, administration, and students are pressured at becoming better and better at testing. I'm not saying that students are being pressured into learning - no - that's not quite what it is. It's test-taking skills. How do we improve our students' test taking strategies?
One of my best friends teaches at a school that has has been named one of the worst schools in the state of Minnesota. Teachers are being fired and the state is threatening coming into the school and taking over the curriculum because the students are not making A.Y.P. (Annual Yearly Progress). Can you imagine? Thankfully, her job is in the clear. Her students have been taking the standardized testing and have been "performing" well. But, she and her colleagues wonder everyday what's going to happen? Who will be fired next?
I have news that may not be so obvious to politicians.
Sometimes students don't care how well they do on tests. Sometimes, they just fill in the bubbles. Sometimes, it's because they are tired of the pressure. Sometimes, it's payback for a teacher who has given them detention. Sometimes, students have test-anxiety. Sometimes, students' parents fought the night before. Some students might have been hit the night before. A lot of students have witnessed things no one should witness.
And, so I wonder? These administrators who roll up the tests and take a peak at the answers, they only seem to be a symptom of a larger disease.