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Testy - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Testy
Today my daughter has her first day of AIMS testing, the cornerstone of Arizona's attempt to promote "standards" in K-12 education and a prime example of how the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind program affects the practice of teaching. She was surprisingly calm this morning. With any luck she will learn to regard standardized testing the way I did when I was in elementary school, as an interesting ritual rather than a weighty responsibility. For my part, though, the arrival of this day caps a long process of reflection in which I have been questioning the value of pedagogy focused on quantitative results. The third-grade students in Skylar's district are all studying from the same spelling lists this year. Two of her recent words were "pretest" and "testable." I'm not even sure whether the former constitutes a legitimate word at this point. I do know, however, that the fact that she had to memorize these two words, instead of other, orthographically unique ones, testifies to our society's prioritization of testing over what might be called "nontestable" experiences.

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_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: April 7th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Jet said he was looking forward to coloring in the circles. I told him that was always my favorite part of standardized testing myself! I also told him "when in doubt, guess B!", so we'll see how that works out for him!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 7th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I always liked standardized testing until the PSATs, when the pressure got to me on the math, not my strongest subject. And, yes, there's something very satisfying about filling in circles!
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: April 7th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
For some reason I can't seem to edit this, but I was coming back to say I *still* love to color in those circles/ovals and am a total sucker for any sort of shoppers survey or whatnot that has that sort of answering requirement.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 8th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Me too!
From: babyiwasshot Date: April 7th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Two of her recent words were "pretest" and "testable."

Those two words have the SAME lexical root; thus, to memorize BOTH is a waste of time, unless this list is intended to teach her mophology/compounding.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 7th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Precisely.
flw From: flw Date: April 7th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

It has nothing to do with learning.

I thought the results of those tests had relatively little effect on the students. I thought the purpose of the test was to justify funding and stuff like that... Like, "This school did well, let's give them 500 air conditioners instead of the 12 that they need," and, "This school did poorly, let's increase their class size to 60 per trailer, and replace the already functioning air conditioners with blow torches."
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 8th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It has nothing to do with learning.

Yes. But the students who like their school want to do well on their school's behalf. Also, it's the students who are doing the work, such as it is.

I would like to come by some time, BTW.
flw From: flw Date: April 8th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It has nothing to do with learning.

Did you get that email?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 8th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It has nothing to do with learning.

Yes. It took me a while to see it, because it came in the middle of many, many Google alerts.
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