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Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 09/30/2009

Tested to Death in the Maryland Schools

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Thomas A. Bauder
Washington

I am an English teacher at a Maryland high school. Of the five weeks we have been in session this year, I have been able to teach for almost, but not quite, three. The other 2 1/2 weeks were dedicated to testing.

We have way too many standardized tests, which take up too much time and effort and cost too much. One must ask whether the data obtained from all these long, dull tests are worth the cost in money, effort, time and student motivation.

Why would students want to come to school when they will be forced to take yet another test? We wonder sometimes why so many kids cut school. The miracle, for me, is that so many come.

I want my students to know facts, which these tests do measure, but I also want them to become more mature, responsible members of society. The qualities and skills that I think are most important in my students — motivation, responsibility, integrity, initiative, creativity, interest, risk-taking, honesty and curiosity — aren’t measured on these tests. Sure, it’s hard to measure such factors, but teachers do it every day. So do employers. If one of our goals for secondary education is to prepare students for the workplace, we need to help students develop the qualities that will keep them employed.

We live in an increasingly technological age. To install, maintain and staff an adequate technology component at my high school would involve spending a significant amount of money that’s not readily available in today’s economy. Perhaps if we spent less on all those tests .....

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 30, 2009; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland, schools  
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Comments


Yep... there is too much testing which leaves less time for teaching. But that's not why they're not going to school. They're not going to school because they can't be bothered.

If it wasn't testing, it would be homework, reports, presentations, etc... actual work; and they sure don't want to do that, either.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 1, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Our children in MD schools are definitely being tested too death to the point they aren't learning what it takes to make it. In the real world you are not going to be tested like in school but you are going to be expected to know certain things and have at least some common sense.

Now dayz our kids don't know basic learning tools, like the 50 states and their capitols, or the location of these states on a map or how to do math without a calculator.

This testing stuff is killing the real learning process in our kids and makes them not only extremely tired mentally and physically but actually afraid of what the real world may have in store for them.

Posted by: msruby36 | October 1, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Gosh! Those poor, POOR chil'dens! Imagine being forced to take tests to determine if you're learning a subject. What cruelty!

Sheesh!

When I was in school, we ended up taking at least one test/quiz per day. One day it'd be a quiz in math. The next day we'd take a test in history, or chemistry, or english.

If kids are skipping class to avoid being tested, it's most likely because they don't know the subject and don't want to fail the test.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | October 1, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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