As a teacher, I am of the opinion that standardized tests are a complete waste of time and resources. However, the politicians will not do anything unless the parents decide to take back the schools from the corporations and the corporate controlled politicians who are trying to privatize the entire process. What is the relationship between the way students are assessed in primary-secondary schools versus the way they are assessed in college? In college, students are assessed per semester, therefore, there is no need for students to be tested on content that they learned at the beginning of the year. It is not a secret that that public school teachers are in the bulls-eye. Heck, even some of the most harden-hearted people out there believe that teachers get no respect whatsoever, because of the way teachers have been attacked. Are the “banksters” who control the global economy as scrutinized as public school teachers? It was quite refreshing as a public school teacher to see parents in Seattle standing up for their teachers, letting their opinions be known about standardized tests and the evaluation of their teachers.
Here is an excerpt from an article I came across recently:
Read more here on the article that describes the way parents in Seattle are backing up their teachers. What do you think will happen in poor communities when teachers decide to move to areas where they think there is a better community to work with? Will you as a teacher move to a neighborhood to teach that has a reputation of poor parent support and low performing students? Most urban schools will pay you extra to come in and teach there. This additional income has come to be known as “combat pay”. Will more poor performing schools and districts start offering combat pay to lure teachers?
Am I saying that teachers should not be evaluated and held accountable for the performance of their students? Absolutely not! However, it is not as simple as the leaders want to make it out to be. There are many factors that affect a student’s performance in school. There are just some families and communities that take education more seriously. Those students come to school more motivated and are ready to learn. That is the kind of student that makes you feel good about going to school, and the type of student that made you want to be a teacher in the first place. At the end of the day-learning-is-learning, and there is no need for students and teachers to be subjected to these standardized tests that cost billions of dollars when the economy is changing at such a rapid rate. No longer are students being trained to work in factories. Students should be assessed based on what they are able to do, and the problems that they are able to solve. This controversy is far from over, and at the end of the day, it is the parent who will decide the direction in which we are going to take, whether or not that parent knows what the heck is going on.