I think standardized testing is really a waste of time, especially in my state, Washington, where the results of which now determine whether your child will graduate or not. I'm sure you all are familiar with the WASL, or Washington Assesment of Student Learing. It is basically an IQ test, and if your child doesn't pass it, he or she will not graduate from high school and will be forced to either re-take or get his/her GED. It would be nice if standardized testing as a whole was used to simply judge teaching performance, but when it becomes the basis of judging student performance with other factors not in consideration, then it becomes useless.
While I agree that teachers should be held to very high standards, the key is to hold the teachers to those standards, not to punish the students for teacher/public school faliure. Standardized testing also makes no room for children who learn differently than the majority, such as special needs children, or those with learning disabilities, other disorders that may affect learning, or students that simply do not test well. However, I do understand the need to evaluate our schools and teacher performance, and I think standardized testing is valuable when it used to do just that, evaluate. It is not fair to try to mold everyone into one way of thinking, and one way of learning. That is what Hitler did to his country. When the learning is focused on achieving one thing in particular, instead of a multitude of triumphs, it becomes boring, and students lose interest entirely. It doesn't matter how good their marks are, because they have that test looming ahead, and passing it is all that matters. Standardized testing, when used for anything other than evaluation, takes all the fun and joy out of learning and teaching. It brings pressure to perform, pressure to be like everyone else, and that goes against the personal and educational freedom we all are entitled to as human beings.
Beth, fiance to a wonderful man
, mommy to Destiny, 4
and Deanna, 2