Monday, March 05, 2007

Take the Pressure Out of Standardized Tests

An excerpt from an article in the Calvert Recorder.

The High School Assessment regime as articulated up to this year is even more absurd. The HSA is a set of four tests, in English, algebra, government and biology, that all high school students, beginning with the class of 2009, must pass in order to receive a diploma.

This strikes us as the height of bureaucratic arrogance. It simply emasculates the local school system’s judgement on the most important question facing them: How well prepared are our students for work and higher education?

If we don’t trust our local educators to make this determination, what are we paying them for? And if we trust state-level bureaucrats more than our local folks to make these decisions, the most vital ones about our children’s futures, where is the groundswell of support for a state takeover of all school systems?...

Click here for the complete article.


Anonymous said...

Well, that is a good idea on the surface, but....

1) Many teachers are not "Highly Qualified" (which really to me is a joke, as they shouldn't be able to teach unless they have a major in the subject that they are teaching, not just a certification).

2) We need to keep a close eye on what is being taught to the kids, and a standardized test given throughout the state is a great way to compare apples to apples.

3) I get sick of hearing Richmond bragging about how well the kids do down here, but yet, when compared to counties like Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and others, it's pitiful. What is the answer?

4) Teachers must spend more time in front of the kids, showing leadership, lecturing, demonstrating, and not flattening their fannie on a chair at the computer, handing out these lousy worksheets. These kids need instruction the entire period.

5) If teachers can't teach the entire period, they need to find something else to do.

Jennifer Abell said...


1) I agree. On the other hand, just imagine the teacher shortages we would have then. In addition, I have met many people with "majors" in a subject that couldn't teach it to someone else if their life depended on it.

2) Agree :)

3) I don't have the answer or the excuse. Our students are continually improving and normally at a rate higher than surrounding counties. We can't just quit, so we must keep just plugging along and eventually we will reach it.

4) Agree :) There must be a happy medium between good old-fashioned teaching and new-wave technology.

5) They become administrators :) JK