Teaching and Learning . . . or Preparing Students for Standardized Tests? Same Old Story?

Ginia Bellafante presented an interesting article in the March 28, 2014 edition of the Sunday New York Times entitled, “Standing Up To Testing.”

Well done, Ginia!

With the emergence of the Common Core Standards, one might think that schools would focus their teaching and learning efforts on the components of those standards. As Ginia writes, this is true in some cases, but there is a significant backlash when it comes to the development and implementation of state-mandated assessment tests.

It seems like schools are back at their old tricks again – departing from teaching and learning of the Common Core Standard elements to preparing students for those high stakes state-mandated tests.

So, at least in some parts of New York, schools are opting out of the tests. As Ginia writes, “The irony is that once the grounding subjects are sacrificed to the time-sapping exercise of test preparation, the broader purpose of the philosophy is eviscerated.”

Where does that leave us? Time will tell.

It’s essential that schools teach substantive matter . . . but will teaching to the high stakes tests be the norm . . . again?

Let’s hope not.

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