So here’s the prez on standardized tests. My question is… well, I’ll wait until after you read it:
ON STANDARDIZED TESTS:
What is true, though, is, is that we have piled on a lot of standardized tests on our kids. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a standardized test being given occasionally just to give a baseline of where kids are at. Malia and Sasha, my two daughters, they just recently took a standardized test. But it wasn’t a high-stakes test. It wasn’t a test where they had to panic. I mean, they didn’t even really know that they were going to take it ahead of time. They didn’t study for it, they just went ahead and took it. And it was a tool to diagnose where they were strong, where they were weak, and what the teachers needed to emphasize.
Too often what we’ve been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools. And so what we’ve said is let’s find a test that everybody agrees makes sense; let’s apply it in a less pressured-packed atmosphere; let’s figure out whether we have to do it every year or whether we can do it maybe every several years; and let’s make sure that that’s not the only way we’re judging whether a school is doing well.
Because there are other criteria: What’s the attendance rate? How are young people performing in terms of basic competency on projects? There are other ways of us measuring whether students are doing well or not.
So what I want to do is — one thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching to the test. Because then you’re not learning about the world; you’re not learning about different cultures, you’re not learning about science, you’re not learning about math. All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and the little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test. And that’s not going to make education interesting to you. And young people do well in stuff that they’re interested in. They’re not going to do as well if it’s boring.
So, okay… seems to me he gets it. But then why the heck doesn’t he actually DO something about it. I mean look at Race to the Top. Look at Merit Pay. Look at high stakes exams, look at the incredible amount of teachers and principals who have lost their jobs as a result of standardized test scores and on and on.
I mean he can pick up a phone, not call Congress and blast Libya but he doesn’t have the ability to apply what he seems to know about this educational nightmare so that he can halt its reoccurrence from continuing to replay itself out over the landscape of our nation right now?
Dude… come on.
Showing you understand the problem is awesome. Not doing something when you clearly see their is a problem is lame. Step up, Barack. If only your entire education policy would remediate what you see as problematic in the above three paragraphs, you’d be making a Dewey-esque contribution to our nation’s schools at this point.