02 November 2007

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch changes


This article in the Dallas Morning News points out the fact that 4 out of 5 fifth graders who fail the TAKS are still promoted. I have never been a fan of using standardized tests as the end-all be-all of measuring students intelligence. I think too much emphasis has been placed on passing the TAKS tests. I grew up in the Texas school system, and I remember how important the TAAS test was. In the weeks before the test, we would have review sessions of TAAS questions and do practice prompts over and over. In some cases I know teachers gear their whole year toward making sure everyone passes by teaching for the test. This type of behavior robs students of learning things not asked on the test. I feel one reason, in part, that the US lags behind in education is because of standardized testing. If teachers feel the need to cheat to get their students to pass a test, we have a problem.

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