The loss of extracurricular activities and enrichment courses that enhance classroom learning. Getting the right answer without knowing the right answer.
The culprit? Standardized testing. Something which, in and of itself is not a bad accountability measure, but which, when taken to the extreme, shows...little or nothing.
For years, parents, educators and community groups have decried the overreliance on standardized testing. And maybe...just maybe...people are coming around. Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News writes that DISD Board of Trustees are considering a resolution condemning standardized testing!
"The reason: Students spent most of their days these days either studying for or taking standardized tests. The district's even offering prep sessions for the STAAR test."
"And while some in the state Lege refuse to budge (hello, Florence Shapiro), districts statewide are beginning to speak up for themselves. As Valerie Strauss noted on her Washington Post ed blog recently, more than 100 districts across the state have passed a resolution condemning the state's "over-reliance on standardized, high stakes testing.""
"On Thursday, the DISD board will consider whether or not to add its name to that growing list."
"The resolution commends Scott for "his concern about the overemphasis on high stakes testing" and says the board believes "our state's future prosperity relies on a high-quality education system that prepares students for college and careers," not just their ability to jump through the state's hoops. And it asks the state Legislature to "reexamine the public school accountability system in Texas and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements.""
All I can say to the school board is 'Go ahead, make our day!'
It's time for us to realize that we have gone so far to the extreme with standardized testing that we've only accomplished two things - we've made those who develop these tests rich and we've produced two or three generations of excellent multiple choice test takers!
It's time to educate our children and stop training them...
DISD Board Resolution Concerning Standardized Testing