I’ve started reading Anya Kamenetz’s new book, The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — But You Don’t Have to be. While I’m early in the book, it is an easily accessible read for educators and parents. By the end, I’m hoping this will work well for a parent workshop – either as a presentation/discussion or even a book study.
In one of the first chapters – The arguments against testing – the author shares 10 reasons for the case against high-stakes state standardized tests in math and reading:
- We’re testing the wrong things.
- Tests waste time and money.
- They are making students hate school and turning parents into preppers.
- They are making teachers hate teaching.
- They penalize diversity.
- They cause teaching to the test.
- The high stakes tempt cheating.
- They are gamed by states until they become meaningless.
- They are full of errors.
- The next generation of tests will make things even worse.
She goes on to paint a fairly convincing picture of each of these points. I must say that I’ve believed/thought about for a long time the ideas against testing she is proposing.
So….are there ANY benefits to our system of testing? Discuss….