This week’s Mom’s Council Topic: Standardized Testing

I think our schools are so focused on standardized testing, a lot of time is wasted not learning, and it puts a ton of pressure on both teachers and students to perform.  I hate the fact that once the tests are over, not much learning seems to take place.  I also think that the teachers are under so much pressure to perform and to drill what’s going to be on the tests, that it takes away their creativity in teaching and makes things a lot more boring.  The perfect scores that I know kids get make me leery too.  Does it really mean that they understand and comprehend all of the material or is it really that they have been drilled over and over what may be on the test that how could they get this stuff wrong?  When I attended an awards ceremony and saw how many kids got perfect scores, it just made me wonder if something was broken because a natural belle curve probably wouldn’t naturally have all those kids skewed to the upper end.  I’m not trying to take away their achievement, because it is great, but it puts a seed of doubt in my head for some reason.

My kids always get a bit anxious during the testing times and you can tell that they feel under a lot of pressure to perform.  I want to help ease their anxiety, but I almost want to say, you know they really don’t affect your grades or you directly, don’t worry so much about them.  Probably not the best parenting advice, and I don’t, but that’s what I feel like telling them.  I know that standardized tests are not going away, and mean all kinds of things later in life for PSATs, SATs, LSATs, MCATs and so forth.  So, I suppose if they get indoctrinated to them early in life, maybe they won’t be so much of a burden for them later.

I do know that some people are good test takers, and some, not so much.  I’ve often seen people that were incredibly book smart and have thought to myself, I think it’d be more to your benefit to have more common sense and understand how things work in the real world to be successful, than be off the charts in the brain matter department.  Maybe some equal smattering of each.  Come up with the cure for cancer (by being driven, focused and having not much of a life), or have a happy well rounded life as a high functioning member of society–which would you rather be?  Yes, it’d be great to have the cure for cancer, but I think I’d really like to be happy.  Can you have both?

Anyway, feel free to hop onto the Mom’s Council topic and pony up your thoughts:



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