Sadly, education testing is BIG business

This column for the Nevada Appeal is from five years ago when I saw school budgets erode when it came to things like class-size reduction, teacher salaries, counselors, and enrichment programs. At the same time, budgets grew (and grew!) for testing. Look around your state, your district, your school and tell me if anything has changed. Are we still spending more on testing than we are on teaching?

 

 

 

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Invest in Children, Not Testing. It’s That Simple.

“Children don’t magically do better when we test them more or raise the bar higher, they do better when adults back up higher expectations by creating supportive and enriched learning environments, that nurture and nourish children as whole human beings, with social, emotional and creative needs, not just as data points and test scores.” ~Christopher Chase at Creative by Nature

Christopher writes a great summary of what scholars and researchers (rather than politicians and test publishers!) know about what children and schools need.

Creative by Nature

“The best schools keep their eye on the prize—the kids—not just whether they are pleasing higher civil authorities. They see the job of adults as one of nurturing intelligence and empathy, openness to the world, while cherishing their children’s uniqueness. They stay close to families, and see teachers and parents as allies not adversaries.” ~Deborah Meier

kids drawing

Here is what the research tells us: We don’t need more money for state testing and national standards, what is needed is greater investment in successful teaching approaches, support services and innovative programs, so that high quality learning opportunities can be provided to all children. Money for teachers, dental and medical care, books, school trips, community building, lunch programs, arts programs, sports programs and whole school reform- not for Pearson, PARCC, private charter school investors and Common Core.

Decades of research has shown that solutions to education problems are not unknown or complicated, they just require a shift of priorities, and a willingness to put money into innovations…

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The Trouble with Standardized Testing

I wish I could make the argument as well as it is presented here. A link to Oliver’s 18 minute segment is included. Worth your time if you want some background or validation on why so many people are worried about the increase in standardized testing.

Creative by Nature

“One of the problems with nations that become obsessed with standardized testing is that eventually test scores do rise, but at a very great cost. Over time, the psychological stress and self-doubt John Oliver described intensifies and becomes part of what a nation considers to be normal..”

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Comedian John Oliver did an excellent job this week, highlighting some of the many problems with Standardized Testing (see full video). At one point he focused on the international testing and publishing giant Pearson, describing the monopoly they have over tests, texts, teacher training and student assessment.

At the end of the segment he asked why, if standardized testing is so important, has it not led to a corresponding rise in America’s international test scores? One of the problems with nations that become obsessed with standardized testing is that eventually test scores do rise, but at a very great cost. Over time, the psychological stress and self-doubt Oliver described intensifies and…

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