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Are standardized tests really so terrible? - Page 3

post #41 of 94
I think though Greaseball, that the answer would vary as much as a child, so while they certainly do not work for every child, some kids love them. I was one of those kids who loved them so much that I grew up and I give them for a living. : (that roll is at myself, not you) And kids tend to be a tad fickle about stuff too. For example, my ds loves to go to My Gym. He loves every stinkin' minute of it. But sometimes he'll say he doesn't want to go. If I say okay and we don't go, he invariably ends up regretting that choice. Reason with him then we all say, right? Remind him that he regrets his choice, etc., etc. Tried it. Doesn't work. Now, not all kids are like this obviously, but mine is. And I bet you that he'll love standardized tests (now, if I administer one of mine to him he yells out, "Hey Daddy! Look at the new toys Mommy brought home to me!") and yet come home each evening saying he can't stand them. And probably both things will be right. He's an in the moment kind of kid who also realizes that he's missing X while he's doing Z, kwim?

I do believe that some teachers could and do practice some form of unschooling in their classrooms. But again, this varies as much as the individual. I, for example, would have limited tolerance for it as a teacher. Then again, that's why I don't teach--I would be awful at it. I'm very linear, very analytical and can handle mayhem from 20 individuals in small doses. So while some teachers would be great at it, others would be awful, and the need for teachers is greater than the number of people able to practice in this fashion...kind of off topic though.

I think that standardized tests can be used in a responsible manner that avoids needlessly labeling a child. I think that they often are not used responsibly.

I also think that an administration that is "shocked" that half the population falls below the mean has a lot to learn about standardization and thus, is unlikely to ever use standardized tests in a meaningful, responsible manner that works for all people.

Leah
post #42 of 94

Re: Are standardized tests really so terrible?

Quote:
Originally posted by daylily

But now I wonder, are they really so terrible? I get the objection about "teaching to the test." I don't like the idea of a standardized test hanging over a classroom like a spectre, dictating everything that is taught.

But OTOH, at the risk of sounding like Dubya, is it too much to ask that schools be held accountable? Is it really so outrageous to expect that kids who're about to graduate from high school know the dates of the civil war? The pythagorem theorem? Have some familiarity with great works of literature? Be able to write an organized essay? Read?
The problem with these tests is that they really do not (cannot) measure what children have actually learned. In my state, ,our standards are very broad and unclear. It is impossible for us to figure out what is going to be tested. Surely enough, if we focus on something we think will be on the test, it's not. Our children are tested on vocabulary and spelling, yet there are no state spelling or vocabulary lists for each grade. There is no way to know what words will be on the test. Are we supposed to teach the whole dictionary?

In reading, a lot of times the passages are very long and pertain to subject matter the kids know nothing about. On last year's test, there was a lengthy poem about a visit to an open air Hispanic market. I'm in an inner city school in metro Atlanta. My kids are mostly black kids from the projects. they have never seen an open air market. They did not know what half the things mentioned in the reading passage was. They could read the words, but the words made no sense to them at all. Almost all of my children missed every question pertaining to this poem.

We are required to give our students the STAR reading test each six weeks. This measures their reading level. Students are also required to participate in AR - reading books on their grade level and taking comprehension tests. The average reading level is 5.9 in my class right now, yet according to last year's CRCT, my students were way below grade level in reading. The difference is context.

In math, my kids do fine when they work out problems themselves. they do terrible on multiple choice math tests (probably cause the fail to work out the problems). Again at our school, we are required to give the textbook pretest and posttest each chapter. My students are all doing well, but I bet they don't fare so well on the state tests, because the way the tests are done.
post #43 of 94
Remember that there's also a difference between, say, the SAT, which is optional, you can study for, get the results from, and has a tangible benefit, and standardized tests that are administered to all children every year, and if they don't perform well, the school/kids/teacher, etc. are labeled failing.

Here's another example. I have a friend who teaches Kindergarten in VA. She is part of a partnership with the country of Mali, and the kids spend a big part of the year learning about Mali, their language, their culture, etc. In addition to, "Let's cut shapes with scissors," they might cut out shapes that have something to do with Mali and make a collage, etc.

Those are the kinds of rewarding educational experiences that cannot be measured by a standardized test. If you sat the children down and said, "Tell me what you know about Mali," I would venture that most could give you a litany of answers. But I guarantee you that will never make it into the standardized testing, and if, heaven forbid, the teacher gave up any time teaching the MANDATED curriculum in favor of what her students found interesting, they would not score as well.
post #44 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by sharonal
Remember that there's also a difference between, say, the SAT, which is optional, you can study for, get the results from, and has a tangible benefit, and standardized tests that are administered to all children every year, and if they don't perform well, the school/kids/teacher, etc. are labeled failing.
I was also scoring PHS--post high school in standardized tests in most every subject by the fourth grade, but it was the high school exams that really stood out in my mind because of the conflict I'd had with some teachers affected some of my grades + I was working and doing less homework than gradeschool + these were awards for being the top 10% or top 2 out of 1600, rather than the top 1 or 2 of 26.

In my husbands case not only was he bored in class, homework was a secondary priority to fending for his personal safetly in an abusive house. Unfortuately, because they WOULDN'T listen to his scores, his school failed him. He wasn't allowed in gifted classes because his grades weren't high enough, no one ever found out he was being beaten--and more--at his house, and he dropped out of school at 16 so he could work full time and get out of his parent's house. He's still never been to college or gotten a HS diploma, and it took him a good 10 years before he got out of manual labor into somewhere where he was hired and promoted on his abilities.

You bring up a good point though, standardized tests ARE typically optional with a tangible benefit--and that's why children should be taught how to take them. They need to be taught that they SHOULD work out the math problems on their own THEN pick the answer. They should learn how to use their imagination to picture a scene they READ about without the benefit of pictures or the d@mn television. (I'm from Washington--that rainy place?--I've never seen an open-air market, but I can visualize it because I have reading comprehension skills--THAT'S what the test is supposed to be testing!)

Because, if they want to take an AP class, they need the standardized test to get the college credit. They need the SAT score to get into college. If a college class is too easy for them, they need to know how to TEST their way out of it. If for whatever reason they drop out of school, they'll have better oppurtunites for jobs and a chance to go back to school IF they can take a test for their GED. I have applied for jobs--good middle class jobs with great benefits working for the state or city governments--where you had to take a multiple choice test to be put on their roster. My husband works for the state and has to take a test to get promoted.

I agree it's unfair to take this one measure of performance--which is a skill in and of itself--and base a school's funding on it. But it's still a skill that needs to be taught, and something that they should be accostomed to.

But the question also comes up--when dealing with FUNDING how else are you going to come up with a system of distribution? People will go to desperate lengths to get funding for their schools.

For instance, remember that whole flap about "ebonics"? Well, aside from fodder for Jay Leno jokes and outraged columnists, it WAS an attempt by a school district to put together a liguist professor's findings that the slang of the African American community was similar to the gramatical structure of the language(s) of West Africa and their effort to apply for extra funding based on ESL grants. Some schools will "accidentally" enroll students with Hispanic sounding last names in ESL classes to get extra money for their schools, then hopefully, transfer them to correct classes later--(at what cost to their education).

While taking away funding from schools doing the worst sounds crazy, if you gave more money to schools who scored poorly, I can almost guarantee you'd find situations where the gifted classes would all have field-trips that day, or teachers rushing students though the tests. And it's hard to blame the schools for trying to "cheat" the system when their goal is to get something better for their kids. And because funding is limited, this class is graded on a curve, and you know that there will be those that cheat, and those that cheat are going to affect your grade--and that's the hardest time of all to not cheat on a test.

So if not standardized tests that reward the sucessful, how DO you do it? What is a better way to test their knowledge? What's a better way to reward success or help the struggling? Not from a perspective of a teacher talking to a parent on how smart their child is, but from the viewpoint of a state or national politician trying to decide how to best support millions of students.
post #45 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I also think that an administration that is "shocked" that half the population falls below the mean has a lot to learn about standardization
:LOL How do people like that rise as high as administrators when they don't know basic math? Doesn't half the population always fall below the mean?

Quote:
While taking away funding from schools doing the worst sounds crazy, if you gave more money to schools who scored poorly, I can almost guarantee you'd find situations where the gifted classes would all have field-trips that day, or teachers rushing students though the tests.
That's an interesting point.

I can't verify this fact, but according to a friend of mine, some school systems that have magnet schools for the gifted are deliberately not identifying gifted students so that the gifted children are forced to stay in regular schools, thus boosting those schools' performances on standardized tests. Although failing schools qualify for extra money from the feds under the Title I program--or will that money be pulled b/c of NCLB?
post #46 of 94
You don't have to take the SATs to get into an open-admissions university. A child who wants to go to a more selective university is probably OK with the fact that high SAT scores will be required, and will plan accordingly. But why make all the other children take a test that will have no meaning for them personally?

How likely is it that a 30-year-old who dropped out of high school to learn a trade is going to wake up one morning and say, "Shucks, I'd like to go to Harvard Medical School but now there's no way! Wish I'd stayed in school and taken all the tests." People who want highly competitive careers usually decide on them while they are younger.

My high school had special classes geared toward kids who wanted to go into medicine. Students were expected to start these classes in the 10th grade.

So I agree that many jobs require extensive testing, but not all kids want these jobs and they should not have to prepare for careers they don't want.
post #47 of 94
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Greaseball
Quote:
So I agree that many jobs require extensive testing, but not all kids want these jobs and they should not have to prepare for careers they don't want.
Just what jobs do you think require extensive testing? My husband is a computer geek, the job I applied for that I took a test like that was an activities coordinator with the Parks & Recreaction Department of the city. After working dead-end jobs and getting nowhere, you learn really fast that a good way to get a decent living without much of an education is to work for places with decent wages and good benefits like the post office, or local governments--all which have rosters you test onto. I live in a relatively small town that's the state Capital of Washington. A lot of the people here work for the state, and those jobs include everything from tour guides and customer service reps to computer techs and middle managers--none of which necessarily require a college degree IF you test well enough to get interviewed. Who are you to say to a sixth grader that this skill has no meaning for them? Also, like public speaking, if done from younger grades on, they will learn to be more comfortable with tests like these.

Why NOT let the other children take these tests, are they being harmed by them in some way? Should I be able to opt out of any class I feel doesn't apply to my future career? What did I learn from gym class? US History? WA State History? Calculus? Is Shakespeare relevant to a marine biologist? If I want to be a computer programmer can I opt out of Chemistry? Don't we teach some things with it in mind that a child may change their mind and should have a grounding in the basics of all areas? Wouldn't testing be one of those basics?

Quote:
People who want highly competitive careers usually decide on them while they are younger. My high school had special classes geared toward kids who wanted to go into medicine. Students were expected to start these classes in the 10th grade.
Students who decide on highly competitive careers are ones who's parents and teachers and guidance counselors help to decide on them when they're younger. If you're a minority, a female, poor, introverted, misfit, or have parents who don't encourage you--or worse, discourage you--you are very likely not to decide on these things until later.

Quote:
How likely is it that a 30-year-old who dropped out of high school to learn a trade is going to wake up one morning and say, "Shucks, I'd like to go to Harvard Medical School but now there's no way! Wish I'd stayed in school and taken all the tests."
My (foster) sister is a good example of this. Woman is brilliant, especially when it comes to anything medical--she can remember information and put pieces together like almost no one else I know--including most doctors. When she was young she wanted to be a doctor, but her parents told her she wasn't smart enough. Her mother told her she should get married and have kids, life was about finding a husband. Because of abuse at home she was a chronic runaway who had many absences at school (also how she came to live with us). She dropped out in the tenth grade to learn a trade (cooking) at Job Corps. She dropped that soon after she got home to become a CNA. Then she got married and was a SAHM.

Now as an adult facing her husbands pending disability, she's gone back to school to be a nurse. She has 2 more years until her BSN, and 1.5yrs after that for her FNP--and you know what she's saying? "Shucks, if I'd stayed in school and taken the tests, I could have gone to UW Medical School, I WAS smart enough to be a doctor!" It took her 15 years to realize this. If she didn't now have four kids she still would, but the residency requirements are too many hours away from home for someone with small children.

Quote:
You don't have to take the SATs to get into an open-admissions university. A child who wants to go to a more selective university is probably OK with the fact that high SAT scores will be required, and will plan accordingly. But why make all the other children take a test that will have no meaning for them personally?
I didn't have a clue what universities looked for as far as SATs vs. grades etc. Because at my school such information was made available more for the parents than the students, and if your parents didn't take an interest, well, oh well. I remeber going to these information seminars put on by the school and trying to translate their relevance to my situation. There were also certain assumptions made about the financial well-being of your family that were incorrect in my case. (And I'm starting school next fall and STILL don't know what an "open-admissions university" is.)
post #48 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So I agree that many jobs require extensive testing, but not all kids want these jobs and they should not have to prepare for careers they don't want.
The thing is, many kids have no idea what they want to do with their lives. How many college freshmen have undeclared majors? Or change their major at some point?

I think it's more fair to provide *all* children with the skills needed for demanding careers and then those that want that path are free to follow it and those that don't won't have been harmed. The alternative is offering a substandard education to kids on some sort of low-skills track, which is, more or less, what we have now, as someone already pointed out.

Besides, no one is forced to take the SATs. If you want to go to college, you'd better take them, but in my experience, schools don't force *all* their students to take them. It's more like, "Sign up here if you're planning to take the SATs."
post #49 of 94
Quote:
How do people like that rise as high as administrators when they don't know basic math? Doesn't half the population always fall below the mean?
ahem uh, I meant the presidential administration....and yup, that's what the mean means.

eta;
Quote:
feds under the Title I program--or will that money be pulled b/c of NCLB?
Those are the schools targeted by NCLB. Many schools don't have to worry about it at all. It's the Title I monies that are at stake for the low performing schools. I know I've said this before (excuse my large soapbox please), I work in a district that looks, based on the scores the students get, awful with a capital A (yes, I watch American Idol). But I see how hard those teachers, those parents and those kids work. I would have no problem with sending my children to those schools and know they were being educated.
post #50 of 94
Quote:
Why NOT let the other children take these tests, are they being harmed by them in some way? Should I be able to opt out of any class I feel doesn't apply to my future career?
If you're asking me, I'd say yes, but I'm one of those child-directed-learning supporters.

It's true that some children are not supported by school administrators or their parents in their career choices. This is another example of how we think that "children don't really know best." If adults were more willing to listen to their children, when their child said they wanted to be a doctor they wouldn't treat it as a whim, they would talk it over with the child and educate her on all the steps she will need to take.

I've taken tests to get into govt jobs, and while I scored high, I did not score in the required top 3%. I don't think that more standardized tests in high school would have helped me; I think a greater knowledge of the material on the test and of what the job was like would have helped.

Maybe this is not accurate, but I think an open admissions university is one that will admit almost anyone at least on a trial basis. Some might require a few terms at a community college if your high school performance isn't very good.
post #51 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by daylily
=

Besides, no one is forced to take the SATs. If you want to go to college, you'd better take them, but in my experience, schools don't force *all* their students to take them. It's more like, "Sign up here if you're planning to take the SATs."
All 10th and 11th graders in my district are required to take the PSAT every year.

I work in a profession (teaching) that requires standardized testing to become licensed. There is a difference between a test that counts for something and that you have a motivation to try hard on than a test that has no benefit whatsoever administered every year to all students.

Teaching someone how to take a test does not mean forcing 3rd graders to take four standardized tests a year. If someone is motivated to do well on the SAT, they can take an SAT prep course.

Gendenwitha,

The info you mentioned about your DH is sad; I'm sorry he had that happen to him. However, in most schools, he's the kind of kid that would not be placed in gifted classes but would instead be tested for learning disabilities. In order to qualify for federal funds, a student must show a large disparity between IQ/test scores and classroom performance. So I doubt anyone would have "listened" to his test scores and put him in a gifted class. And so what benefit did they/would they have served?

The examples you give show how YOU benefited from the tests, but don't demonstrate how millions of school children and teachers benefit every year.

One other thing to mention is that MOST high school students in my experience don't care AT ALL about standardized tests and will openly criticize them if given the chance, saying, "This doesn't teach me anything," or, "I use the time to catch up on my sleep." And after going through my teacher schpeal of why they're important, I still fail to convince 90% of them, and they don't try hard. And then our school is judged by the results.
post #52 of 94
Quote:
I work in a profession (teaching) that requires standardized testing to become licensed. There is a difference between a test that counts for something and that you have a motivation to try hard on than a test that has no benefit whatsoever administered every year to all students.
Yes!!! My dh also has to take those tests for his teaching license and he loved them! He scored 100% on one of them and was so proud of himself. He got the results back, unlike the tests that children get. If they're so important to their education, why is there no one available to talk with them about what they missed, point out patterns that may explain why they missed it, suggest things to study for future tests - why don't they even get their own results back?
post #53 of 94
Quote:
standardized tests ARE typically optional with a tangible benefit--and that's why children should be taught how to take them. They need to be taught that they SHOULD work out the math problems on their own THEN pick the answer. They should learn how to use their imagination to picture a scene they READ about without the benefit of pictures or the d@mn television.
Yes, knowing these things is important, important for many reasons beyond being able to take tests that are based on those skills (and not all are.) But these skills are not being taught by the tests themselves, and they are not being taught in the schools. If tests are SO important in the real world, and if they require special skills, then a course should be offered on test-taking. Now that would make sense.

Quote:
I have applied for jobs--good middle class jobs with great benefits working for the state or city governments--where you had to take a multiple choice test to be put on their roster. My husband works for the state and has to take a test to get promoted.
I'm not saying that standardized tests have no uses, or that being familiar with how to take them cannot be valuable. If your goal is to work for the government (and I know they can be enviable jobs to have) then it makes sense to be able to take a standardized test. But that doesn't mean that such testing is a necessary part of education, nor that you have to take a certain number of standardized tests in order to be able to take one successfully to qualify for a job. For a certain type of test, either you know the information or you don't. (Which characterizes the tests my husband has to take for his government job.) For another type, the skills that you mentioned above will be valuable, but I assume that any well-educated person would already have them without ever having taken a single test.

Quote:
So if not standardized tests that reward the sucessful, how DO you do it?
Actual achievement? Like, things they have actually done? How long have standardized tests been around? What did successful people do before then? And isn't success its own reward? Why does it have to be rewarded according to tests?

Quote:
What is a better way to test their knowledge?
There are certainly better ways, but probably not more efficient ways. My husband has to receive on-going training for his job, as do many other people doing the same job, and it would be totally inefficient for the state to test them in any other way but multiple-choice testing. On the other hand, my husband and two other people are currently vying for a position, and the way they are being evaluated is by their past performance and conversations with their bosses. This is a vastly superior method of determining who is best for the job, and they can do it because there are only three applicants. The point being that not every means of making a living is going to require testing, nor should it.

Quote:
What's a better way to [...] help the struggling?
By providing opportunities and information and support.

Quote:
Not from a perspective of a teacher talking to a parent on how smart their child is, but from the viewpoint of a state or national politician trying to decide how to best support millions of students.
Boy, I don't know if that's even possible. Are you saying you believe that through standardized testing the government is best supporting millions of students?
post #54 of 94
Quote:
How long have standardized tests been around? What did successful people do before then?
Exactly. Does this mean that all the government employees and doctors and all those other jobholders are not as good at their jobs today because they missed out on all the testing people have now? Would you not want to see a doctor over a certain age, because they did not have to take standardized tests back when they finished high school?

What about homeschoolers? They are not kept out of any jobs or colleges, not even in the states that don't require them to be tested. Would you not want to hire a lawyer who was homeschooled? Would you even ask if he had taken the CIM/CAMs in high school?

As far as whether Shakespeare is valuable to a marine biologist, wouldn't that depend on the individual biologist? I find literature to be very valuable and study it on my own time - but not Shakespeare. I find him boring. It was forced on me in high school and I retained nothing of it, unlike others such as Homer, who I studied on my own time and loved.

Most of the things I am interested in today are things I've learned on my own rather than in school. If most people were to make lists of everything they like and everything they are good at, how much of those lists do you think would be things they learned in school? If you think of all the people you admire, how likely is it that you admire them for something they learned in school? Do you think Picasso learned in "art class" and Michael Jordan learned in "gym class" and Shakespeare learned in "writing class"? Picasso was booted out of art class, and Stephen Spielberg was not admitted to film school because his high school grades were not good enough.
post #55 of 94
Quote:
Also, like public speaking, if done from younger grades on, they will learn to be more comfortable with tests like these.
Well, I don't know about that. It seems to make sense, but I think doesn't always work out that way. I had a bad experience with public speaking in sixth grade, and wasn't able to overcome it all through school even though I was forced repeatedly to stand in front of the class and talk. (I didn't start to get better until I was well out of school. I'm still working on it.) And tests -- well I have to admit I have never done poorly on tests. I guess just cuz I'm so smart. Whatever. The fact is that I have never been comfortable taking them, no matter how many I had taken previously, and I to this day shut down and go into zone mode. I am painfully slow, but only because it is a test, which means that my scores never reflect my actual abilities. And to add to the insult, tests taught me something very bad (and very untrue) which is, like I said in a previous post, that they are the measure of me.

Quote:
Why NOT let the other children take these tests, are they being harmed by them in some way?
Of course, if our society is going to remain so stuck on them, students should be allowed to take them. I'm all for freedom in education. But to make them mandatory throughout the entire school experience (I remember lots of pop quizzes and weekly tests in addition to half-term, term, and I guess now some have to take yearly tests?) is absurd and has nothing to do with learning, takes precious time away from it, and deadens students to the joys of learning. More insidiously, like I've pointed out in previous posts, testing in our schools is considered so important and so much the measure of ability and potential and intelligence and even character, that students who do poorly are branded in teachers', parents', and in their own minds, creating a self-prophesying situation.

Have you taken a look at the links to the anti-test articles I provided before? I'm curious what you think about them?

http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/koha0101.htm
http://www.nhen.org/newhser/default.asp?id=291
http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/tcooa.htm
http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/c...d.testing.html
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=19991018&s=ohanian
post #56 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
Would you not want to see a doctor over a certain age, because they did not have to take standardized tests back when they finished high school?
:LOL Good point. Judging from some of the doctors I've known, the tests they took to graduate from medical school apparently did not do much to ensure that they would know what they were doing when they started practicing...
post #57 of 94
T
It seems like the older doctors (who weren't tested as much) know a lot more than the younger ones! Especially OBs, who once learned how to attend breeches and remember a time when a 15% c/s rate was considered too high.

One psychiatrist whose books I collect mentions that even when he was a university student, the amount of homework he had was so small it could be folded up and stuck in a back pocket. Backpacks were unheard of. He's totally against the heavy backpacks and loads of homework and high-stakes academics young children deal with today.
post #58 of 94
Are you all getting sick of me yet?

"Should I be able to opt out of any class I feel doesn't apply to my future career?"

Yes!

"What did I learn from gym class? US History? WA State History? Calculus? Is Shakespeare relevant to a marine biologist?"

You tell me! (I am sorry to say that I got absolutely nothing valuable out of any of those things. I do love Shakespearean plays, but shoot, if my high school had gotten to me first, I have to wonder if I would have ever given the theatre a chance...)

If I want to be a computer programmer can I opt out of Chemistry?

Yes! (I did, and I have to say that my life has been full and rich without it.)

Don't we teach some things with it in mind that a child may change their mind and should have a grounding in the basics of all areas?

What makes you think that these things are "basic"?

People are so complex, so different. Gym and calculus and Shakespeare are not going to be important to everyone. There are many, many, many equally important non-related things.

Wouldn't testing be one of those basics?

Maybe. And if so, it should be offered as a class.
post #59 of 94
Quote:
If I want to be a computer programmer can I opt out of Chemistry?
I'm opting out. Most students are given a choice between chemistry and biology, and I choose biology. Bet I won't suffer because of it, but if for some reason I do then I can take a chem class at the community college. I may have to do that if my kids decide they want to learn chemistry - sign up for the class and bring them with me. Why do we have this idea that if you don't learn chemistry in high school, you'll never learn it at all?

Quote:
What did I learn from gym class? US History? WA State History? Calculus?
In gym I learned that I was "not good" at anything, according to the teacher, and that I was "fat and ugly" according to the other students. I got an F in 8th grade gym. What was actually true was that I'm not good at team sports, but very good at sports I love, such as weightlifting and dogsledding, and that the other students were just really mean and what they said was not true.

In US history I learned that Columbus discovered America. It wasn't until college that I learned he was really a rapist, murderer and monkey-torturer. If they had told me that in high school, I would have found it more interesting! Do the tests tell lies too?

We weren't given the option of studying the history of our state. I'm more interested in the history of Alaska than my home state of Oregon, but I bet they don't have teachers who are there to teach about all 50 states. The teachers' lounge wouldn't hold them all.

I never took caculus. It was painful enough doing all the work just to get an A in college algebra. I think I'll take one more math class and call it quits. I've already got all I need to graduate.
post #60 of 94
Thread Starter 
OT: but why does everybody seem to think a study of history is useless? And by "everybody," I don't mean the people on this thread, but the education establishment in general.

Cicero wrote, "Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child."

And as for the "child knows best" theory, I disagree. Certainly, if a child develops an interest in a particular topic, a parent or teacher should nurture and encourage that interest. But I believe children still require some guidance concerning their education. Do we let our children eat whatever they want--even if what they want is junk food? Why would we take such chances with their minds? I'm not saying that standardized tests will somehow improve their minds--that's a ridiculous notion. I'm only saying that children will not naturally gravitate to every subject they need to know.
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