No healing here

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“It’s not the wound that teaches, but the healing.”
~ Marty Rubin (Credit to Bob at Lakeside Advisors in Seattle for the quote.)

I’m going to pull a quote from a previous post a couple of days ago:

What, exactly, is the point of crushing the hearts and minds of young children by setting a standard so high that 70% are certain to fail?

Eduhonesty: A great part of my concern about the current testing situation lays in the fact that these children and young adults never get to heal. They stumble from (standardized) test to test to test throughout the year, not including the many exams given by teachers, some of which are highly inappropriate since they are designed to prepare kids for standardized tests for which they remain unready. Common Core prep tests given in the classroom may be years beyond actual academic learning levels of students. With luck, the teacher has at least taught some or most of the material on the test. In the worst case, the teacher has taught very little of the material because his or her students aren’t ready for that material, but administration has required the test. This gives kids regular opportunities to bomb in the classroom as well.

A classroom test should reflect what the teacher has taught. If I give a test and almost all the class fails, I designed the test badly. Those test results are my fault, not theirs. Students have a right to expect that if they listen to me, do their homework and finish their reading, they will get a decent grade on the summative test. Students who faithfully do their work should never be clobbered in the end-game.

We have no idea of the long-term effects of regularly causing large groups of students to fail exams that we frequently tell them are vitally important predictors of their future.

I wish Arne Duncan and other advocates of wide-scale testing were not so cavalier about what we are doing to children in our pursuit of rigor and data, two words I am coming to loathe. So many dubious practices are justified by using those words.

One thought on “No healing here

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