It is sometimes believed that publishing the results of standardized tests has a value for the public. Have you ever heard of a parent or teacher express concerns about the comparative scores? I have not, even when the scores may be low compared to other schools or states. Sadly, most readers have come to accept that this is the trend – a trend that our quality education has been on the decline for decades.
Our state and federal governments continue to throw money into standardized testing with all its costs, disruptions in our classrooms, teacher training sessions, administrative paperwork, upgrades to computer testing networks, and student anxiety. There really is no value in states spending many millions of dollars that ends up in corporation pockets, and not having personal value in our classrooms. If state money is really that available, how about spending it on getting more teachers, so that classrooms can be smaller, for example.
All of the above detriments can be avoided while getting better student results. Testing must return to teacher and subject exams. This allows our trained teachers to focus on each child and the learning process that happens everyday in the classrooms. When a unit of study is completed by the student, s/he can be evaluated on the contents. In a truly personalized curriculum, the results of the students accomplishments can be recorded. The progress of each child is reported to the parents by way of report cards, and a student’s cum folder that follows the child through the school years. This is all that is needed to assist in the growth of the child. This is the more sensible (and centsible) approach that ends up benefiting each child. State and federal control of curriculum and testing has not worked. Local control by school districts, teachers, and parents must be returned to get better results.