“Little Apparent Relevance to Adult”

Yesterday was a big day in the Washington Post. Valerie Strauss shared the story, “When an Adult Took Standardized Test Forced on Kids“, by Marion Brady. It’s very interesting to read that a school board member took the 10th grade test that is required in their state. His results?

It makes no sense to me that a test with the potential for shaping a student’s entire future has so little apparent relevance to adult, real-world functioning. Who decided the kind of questions and their level of difficulty? Using what criteria? To whom did they have to defend their decisions? As subject-matter specialists, how qualified were they to make general judgments about the needs of this state’s children in a future they can’t possibly predict? Who set the pass-fail “cut score”? How?”

His district requires this test. Yet, he doesn’t see any relevance to real life in the test. Isn’t this what teachers have thought for a long time? Don’t you think it’s time for things to change?

Not only do the tests make students feel dumb (because they have to take their grade level test even if they are reading at a 2nd grade level), but it makes the schools look bad. Teachers are losing jobs because “the test” said they are not teaching. Districts are rearranging their building because “the test” said they’re a failing district.

When will the government start to see the problems THEY are giving us. The schools are not failing, the government is failing the schools. They are giving standards that are not possible.

I challenge everyone in politics to take their state’s required test. Will you be passing?


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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