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Old 11-29-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
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Food for thought: The time, energy, and money that are being devoted to preparing students for standardized tests have to come from somewhere.
- where, you might ask? the first things cut so far are: P.E., recess, art, music, and reading.. and dont forget history.


"When someone emphasizes the importance of 'higher expectations' . . . we might reply, 'Higher expectations to do what? Bubble in more ovals correctly on a [flawed] test?'"

it should be noted that standardized testing companies not only make money off of selling tests and test prep materials, but they THROW OUT THE QUESTIONS THAT ARE GOTTEN RIGHT by most students. sure, from a statistical standpoint that has validity, but what exactly are we measuring with them? bubbled exams show nothing about critical thinking skills, only shallow thinking.

in fact, most questions on ACTs, SAT'*, do have multiple answers that can be argued for -- but the correct one is the shallower one.

in schools we are teaching to the test. you might wonder what that means for the students. it means the students are learning how to take a test, not why grass is green. sure they might learn that grass is green because of chlorophyll, but has that learning just become incidental in the face of the overriding mandate to do well on these standardized tests?

shouldnt kids be more worried about the "why'*" instead of "is this going to be on the test?"


"Reports of rising test performance should lead us to ask: 'What was taken away from my children'* education in order to make them better at taking standardized tests?'"
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:06 PM   #2
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I think you have a problem with a flawed system, not a flawed test. Granted, the test has flaws as all tests do, but it is the system using the test that is most flawed. The test has actually incorporated an essay so that the assessment is less "shallow". I think we all agree that the system has issues but those students who want to excel will. Hannah Arendt'* essay, 'The Crisis in Education' was written in 1954 but unfortunately addresses some of the same issues present today. The student is often blamed but why? It is the responsibility of the parent and teacher to promote education. The teachers seem to avoid taking an authoritative position and point fingers elsewhere when problems arise. This is only my first semester of college and, although it has its flaws too, it is MUCH better than the provided government education(not that a private education is any better). Well, I have an exam to study for. I'll be back later.
Grant
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:58 PM   #3
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alright.

why do we like standardized tests? ALL endorsed standardized tests have been notorious for being biased toward whites. if these tests tell you how "smart" someone is, why is it that minorities consistently score lower, on average, than whites?

surely you dont maintain that its because theyre dumber.

and who writes these tests? who grades them? whos standards are being applied, in these standardized tests?

and if the tests werent administered, who would get the blame then for student'* failing? isnt it possible that these tests are the REASON that we blame the students? arent they just a tool to allow blaming of the students for a failure of society?

after all, curved scores tell you nothing about the individual in comparison to an arbitrary "goal" for intelligence. they just tell you how smart your kid is in relation to the other kids.

and why are these tests valued more (by you and everyone else) than something that requires knowledge of the individual? the test doesnt know anything about how that student is feeling today, if dad just walked out on mom, or even if the south'* economy going into world war 1 was covered in his history class (which was actually cut short so that they can prepare the student to take the test).


as an evaluative tool, there must be something better than these biased/flawed tests.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwakamud
why do we like standardized tests? ALL endorsed standardized tests have been notorious for being biased toward whites. if these tests tell you how "smart" someone is, why is it that minorities consistently score lower, on average, than whites?
just out of curiousity, what do you mean that they are highly bias towards "whites"? is it just the questions and how theyre written or are you actually saying that minorities score lower on these tests because the tests grade based on race not answers?
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:08 PM   #5
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im saying that statistically, its been proven that minorities score lower (on average) than whites do on these tests. its largely due to socio-economic status -- that is, these tests do, in part, measure how big your house is rather than how intelligent you are.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:10 PM   #6
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In reply to the racial bias: All children are provided with the same education, black or white. I do not know why they would score any lower. Test scores will fluctuate with demographics due to income but this doesn't explain the phenomena you present. The tests may be the reason for blaming the students for the failure but it isn't the cause of the failure. Should we not administer the test and just let ignorance be bliss? If you aren't going to determine intelligence with relativity, how do you propose we determine it?
Grant

EDIT: I just read your last post. Communities with more money show higher test scores. There is more tax money available for education. A housing community is not going to present enough tax money to provide a proper education. Sad but true.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:14 PM   #7
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thats the problem. its jsut assumed that without tests, the educational system will degenerate into mediocrity. but there is absolutely no evidence to support this conclusion. if even you, b2, agree that test scores will fluctuate based on income, WHY would we support their continued use? are we saying rich kids are smarter than poor ones? because thats what the testing says.

and if the tests are the reason for blaming the students, why do we still use them? are we saying its okay to continue to use something which results in students being blamed for failures which arent theres? for labelling students as "not intelligent" based on incorrect bubbling of answer sheets?
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
its jsut assumed that without tests, the educational system will degenerate into mediocrity.
I'm not sure this is something we want to experiment with. It may work with motivated students but i think it will fail with others.

Quote:
if even you, b2, agree that test scores will fluctuate based on income, WHY would we support their continued use? are we saying rich kids are smarter than poor ones? because thats what the testing says.
Yes. Students from low-income families live in low-income communities which are unable to provide a quality education. The students do not learn and then fail the tests. It is not their fault, nor is it the test'* fault. It is simply a fault of their circumstance.

Quote:
and if the tests are the reason for blaming the students, why do we still use them? are we saying its okay to continue to use something which results in students being blamed for failures which arent theres? for labelling students as "not intelligent" based on incorrect bubbling of answer sheets?
The tests are not the reason students are being blamed. The tests simply reveal a poor education which the students are blamed for. The problem lies not in the revealing of the poor education but rather the place of the blame.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *B2*
Quote:
its jsut assumed that without tests, the educational system will degenerate into mediocrity.
I'm not sure this is something we want to experiment with. It may work with motivated students but i think it will fail with others.
it should be noted that this "accountability" fad didnt kick off until roughly the last 15 years or so. we became a global power and reached the moon without it.

how about the fact that one of the side effects of this testing is that kids are missing valuable instruction time to take them?

and your underlying assumption that these tests represent intelligence is just mind-blowing to me. its inconceivable that someone can be smart and not test well? test-day jitters are just a folk-legend? and based on this standardized test were going to say that the education system is failing him?'


and saying that low-income families are unable to provide quality education is naive at best. according to that, the poorest states should score the lowest on standardized tests. but all of the stats say otherwise.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:31 PM   #10
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i think it proves more that our education system is wrong, not the tests. i personally think it shows that people with higher income is getting a better education, which should not be the case. i think all schools and the education provided, should be the same no matter what the income of the students parents. and the trend sadly seems to be that where there is more money, the education system seems to be somewhat better. and as it turns out, sadly, the percentage of minorities seem to be higher where the income level is somewhat lower. im not saying that its proves that minorities dont have as much money or arent as smart or anything, im just saying that, that is the way it seems to be.

but i also think that there needs to be some type of a standardization in testing, because if there isnt a test, how do we judge the intelligence of a student? sure, we could have the teachers use their opinions, but then, that is just their opinion, which can be flawed also and cause controversy. but also, if we didnt have any type of standardized testing, how could we tell who is fit to teach?
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