05 Apr 2015

Saved from Standardized Testing? How?

Category: Alternative Education,LearningAdmin @ 10:30 pm

While testing has its place, the standardized testing imposed upon public schools has many problems. The tests were designed to give an overall picture of how groups of students compared to other groups in other times and places. They were not designed to assess an individual’s mastery of taught subject matter (especially since there is no national curriculum, which, by the way, I am not advocating). They are meant to produce a bell curve score distribution. If too many students do too well, they make the test harder. Does this make some of the students stupider? Any single student may have been ill that day, not been properly prepared, or for any number of reasons received a score that is not reflective of how well he or she has been learning in school.

What evidence do we have that these tests actually improve student learning? Besides, who tests the tests? Rather than answer, I encourage you to research those questions yourself. Start by going to The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

Did you know that you have the right to keep your child out of school when standardized testing is taking place?
For several years now, The Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) has been encouraging alternative schools to invite students seeking to escape from standardized testing to visit their schools during testing times. This way, the children are in school – just not their regular ones – and this is usually an excused absence. AERO is maintaining a list of alternative schools welcoming such students. If you cannot find a school near you on their list, AERO recommends contacting other schools that are members of AERO to see if they would be willing to host your child.

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