At Psychology Today, J. Richard Gentry considers the pros and cons of inflicting standardized tests on little kids:
April in third grade used to be about flowers, shedding heavy jackets, and walking outside barefoot for the first time. It used to be about baseball season, fishing, the science fair, and creating colorful woven baskets or painting murals with ducks or bunnies. It used to be about practicing for the school talent show, reading favorite books in school, and going on outings and picnics with classmates.
No time for that now. The line has been drawn in the sand. Today in America, at least in a growing number of states, April in third grade is about fear of flunking a test. Today, third graders are test prepping, and they’ve been doing so since the first weeks of school. The teacher’s and principal’s job is on that same line that was drawn in the sand. Parents have been coached about getting kids test-ready at home. The nation is watching.
Fail the test and you get held back, disgrace yourself, and shame your parents. You may even cost your teacher and principal their job.
Click to read the rest.
I have come to believe that the ratio of overpriced tests (and administrators) to underpaid teachers is skewed in the wrong direction.
Tests do not teach; the claims that they can measure anything are based more on faith (and testing companies’ bottom lines) than research (*.pdf).