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Monday, July 5, 2010

What is it with the testing?

Just heard this morning on the news, a Fl college professor saying focus less on standardized testing. I had to rewind it. Apparently there is so much focus on standardized test scores in public schools that students are not thinking for themselves anymore. Critical thinking takes a back seat to standardized test prep. Really?

In Weapons of Mass Instruction, by John Taylor Gatto, the message is much the same. Public schools were designed to create a mass labor force of automatons who cannot even care about education, because that aspect of "schooling" is removed from the equation.

Consume, blindly accept what you are spoon fed by the powers that be. Those in "authority" who, along with big business, want you to believe (like they do) that you are not smart enough to make your own decisions. If you were left to your own devices you might not choose their "way". You may see through their doublespeak and, in some cases, may even respond to their outright disdain for the "common man."

I was glad to see this professor, brave enough to speak out on national television. I wonder if she'll keep her job after this.

So, what of those standardized tests? What do they really tell us? What does it matter after you graduate from high school (if you graduate), how well you scored on the state test? Are these tests, like Mr. Gatto tells us, just a way to organize people? To fit them into certain categories? Segregate intelligence?

This all begs the question..does primary, secondary, college or university really educate? What is the definition of education vs. schooling? What is the difference between an A and a C, except a dozen numbers? Is your child less than because they got a C? Is your child more "educated" if they received an A? Or do these grades just let us know who tests better? Who can memorize the opinions and ideas of an "expert" better.

When I was in the Navy, we had to test to make rank. Each test cycle the drama began. It was certain that there would be someone who was promoted because they "aced" the test, but lacked the ability to do the job in reality.

When you were in school, did you ever hear someone say "I just don't test well".

What is it with holding our kids hostage to some unknown entity that decides how smart our kids are?

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