STANDARDIZED MESS

“With Fifth-Grade Test Now Revealed, New York’s Tougher New Reading Exams Set Students Up to Fail, Critics Warn”

One of those “critics” in the Daily News article (a teacher who wanted to remain anonymous for fear she would be fired) asked: “Have these students had an opportunity to build up to that complexity?”  “No,” was her answer. “This test is coming at them like an anvil to their face.” Ouch.

In a recent Youtube video, one teacher’s face did go public. She explains in the video why she quit her profession and standardized testing was a major factor. It’s reasonable that teachers are concerned about testing. In Kentucky, one year after the arrival of the new, harder tests, “students’ scores fell across the board by roughly a third in reading and math.” The upgrade is grading is called “Common Core,” a government program to bring nationwide standards to education (45 states by 2014-15). Standardized testing is essential to create this average…from C-to-shining-C.

But how “average” are these new standards if, as an editorial in the New York Times, points out: “More affluent students…will have parental support. Private tutoring, already a growth industry, will become more important if passing scores on the Common Core are required for graduation. Despite worthy aims, the new standards may well deepen the nation’s social divide.”

There’s another danger with testing. But to learn what it is, you’ll have to answer the question below from BAD FOR YOU’s “Standardized Cheating” exam:

QUESTION 6. WHAT DID NEARLY 9,000 NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE TO DO WHEN A COMPANY THAT MAKES STANDARDIZED TESTS MARKED THEIR CORRECT ANSWERS WRONG?

___ Lots of push-ups

___ Nine months hard labor

___ Worst of all, summer school.

Give up? The correct answer is the last one. Even though the testing company had been alerted about the problem eight months earlier, they said nothing at first when students’ scores dropped dramatically and the New York City School Chancellor was fired. Formerly a big fan of standardized testing, today that same ex-Chancellor sounds a little testy when he says that what the company did was “lie.”

Or, you could say, cheat…both him out of a job and the kids out of their summer.

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