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Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 07/15/2010

D.C.'s standardized test trap

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Max Harwood,
Bethesda

Red flags should have gone up for every D.C. parent who read the July 14 front-page article “A mixed bag for District schools,” which reported that “field trips are canceled” and regular instruction is curtailed to provide more preparation time for standardized tests.

Field trips — when done right — expose students to the real world and the career opportunities that a good education can provide. By eliminating field trips and curtailing regular class instruction, we are letting our representatives — namely D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee — use our children as political pawns. High scores on D.C. standardized tests don’t help our children; they help our politicians’ campaigns. Children need to want to learn, and they need to think about the world creatively; standardized tests will meet neither of those needs.

If we put more energy and resources into motivating our children and less into evaluating and measuring them, graduation rates would rise, more students would attend college, and the economy would grow stronger — indicators far more meaningful than the numbers spewed out by standardized tests.


By washingtonpost.com editors  | July 15, 2010; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, education, schools  
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Comments

Thumbs up!

Posted by: vnm202 | July 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mr. Harwood.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | July 16, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

As a future educator, I heartily agree!
Field trips can provide an amazing experience to students that they do not get in the classroom.
As an aside, it should be noted that more time spent on instruction does not always mean higher test scores. Numerous studies conducted by Pelligrini, along with others show that students who get 15 minute breaks every 45 minutes or so retain much more information and are more focused on learning.

Posted by: potatoman | July 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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