"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, March 19, 2010

Do we need to subject students, teachers to more standardized tests?

Published in the Washington Post
Thursday, March 18, 2010; A18
The No Child Left Behind law, heavily criticized because of the massive amount of testing it involved, required standardized tests in math and reading in the third through eighth grades and one year in high school. According to the March 14 front-page article "Obama calls for 'No Child' remake," we will have standardized tests in every grade, with the strong possibility of tests in other subjects as well, continuing the movement to convert schools into test-prep academies.
This means billions of dollars will be spent on test construction, validation, revision, etc., at a time when schools are already short of funds. Many science classes have no lab equipment, school libraries have few new books, school bathrooms lack toilet paper, school years are being shortened and teachers are losing their jobs.
Do we have to test every child, every year, to see how our schools are doing? When you get a check-up, they don't take all your blood -- just a sample.
Stephen Krashen

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