June 24, 2009ByMOSCOW -- "Exams Are Over, The Problem Remains."
That was the message as a dozen teachers and high-school students braved cold, wet weather to gather in central Moscow last week to protest a recent initiative by Russian education officials.
The source of their discontent is the Unified State Exam, or yediny gosudarstvenny ekzamen (EGE), a new standardized test introduced in Russia for the first time this year.
Critics say the EGE is a poor measure of academic aptitude, and is already having a detrimental effect on learning in schools.
"Study in 11th class in any Russian school has become a mass preparation for the EGE," said Ilya, a high school history teacher who was leading last week's protests. "There is no education in 11th class anymore. All that the students think about is how they have to take the EGE. And all the teachers think about is how to ensure that the school gets good results."
The test, which is administered to students before they can graduate from high school, also ostensibly aids their placement in higher education institutes -- much like the SAT, formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, in the United States. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Russian Students Protest Testing, American Style
Will American students follow suit.? One can hope. Will Duncan's Central Committee note the irony in the fact the children in the land of Stalin are now protesting America's brand of oligarch-inspired testing nonsense?