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Thread: Boycotting Standardized Testing

  1. #41
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    With the recent explosion in Texas, we have seen that standards vary greatly across the country. I am surprised that so many do not think there should be a universal bar of what is acceptable in education. Don't get me wrong, I do not want there to be a stifling amount of regulations. I do think there are kids though that are completely getting passed by however, and the testing is one way to pick up on those kids that are getting passed by. Testing is not perfect, but I would be interested in other ideas of how to pick up on these kids.

    ~Bonita~

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    With the recent explosion in Texas, we have seen that standards vary greatly across the country. I am surprised that so many do not think there should be a universal bar of what is acceptable in education. Don't get me wrong, I do not want there to be a stifling amount of regulations. I do think there are kids though that are completely getting passed by however, and the testing is one way to pick up on those kids that are getting passed by. Testing is not perfect, but I would be interested in other ideas of how to pick up on these kids.
    I'm unclear as to what you mean. Currently ST'ing is EXACTLY like these safety standards that you dislike ~ they vary widely across the country. There is NO "Universal Bar". For instance, from the article I linked, students in TX and TN were consistently performing poorly ~ so admin simply made the tests EASIER, now you suddenly have "smarter" students! You (and TX) also have the easiest testing in the country. Is that using the tests to make better students? Or course not.

    How do we pick up on these kids who are getting passed by? Oh, don't know ~ better teaching? More parental involvement? For instance, if a child can't read, don't you think that an actual living, breathing PERSON could be better qualified to pick up on that than a test? Or if it isn't an issue of being able to read, but simply horrible nerves, couldn't that be better identified by a teacher or reading specialist than a test? Can you imagine how much more actual instruction a child would be receiving if 25% of their time wasn't spent learning how to prepare for these tests, and instead was spent learning in ways specific to and geared towards their particular learning style? Can you imagine if instead of paying ~ what was it~ 90 million? In texas alone for these tests we were hiring more classroom support, updating more technology, or offering more specials in the arts or sciences?

    I'm no expert on education, but I'm a little shocked to see a homeschooler, preaching the necessity of standardized testing. It seems to be the absolute farthest thing from what I would think that a homeschooler would support.
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  3. #43
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    You can not lump all homeschoolers into one large lump. Not all homeschoolers homeschool for the same reasons.

    I said I was surprised that so many people on here were against testing. I just expected the response to be different. I do not think the test itself is all bad. It can be a great tool to know where to place a child, to pick up on what areas they need extra work. It is the pressure that people put on the tests that is bad. If a teacher is devoting all their time teaching only to the test, that is the problem. I remember when I went to school, we had one week of testing at the end of the year. There was nothing said about the testing outside of that week. It was a fun time, we had a few hours of tests, then movies for the rest of the day. The teachers stressed that the tests would not affect our grades in any way and they were just a tool. They used the tests to pick out which kids needed remedial classes and to determine where we ranked in the State. I do not believe that kind of Standardised testing is bad. It is how many schools pressure the kids and the teachers that is bad.
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    ~Bonita~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    How do we pick up on these kids who are getting passed by? Oh, don't know ~ better teaching? More parental involvement? For instance, if a child can't read, don't you think that an actual living, breathing PERSON could be better qualified to pick up on that than a test? Or if it isn't an issue of being able to read, but simply horrible nerves, couldn't that be better identified by a teacher or reading specialist than a test? Can you imagine how much more actual instruction a child would be receiving if 25% of their time wasn't spent learning how to prepare for these tests, and instead was spent learning in ways specific to and geared towards their particular learning style? Can you imagine if instead of paying ~ what was it~ 90 million? In texas alone for these tests we were hiring more classroom support, updating more technology, or offering more specials in the arts or sciences?
    Why do you assume that all kids have the same access to a person to teach them? When my mom taught kindergarten, over half of her kids had never been read to. Parents were irritated that their homework was to either read a short story to their child or be read to. They thought it was a waste of their time. I like the idea that these tests can indicate schools that need more help. It bothers me that that doesn't happen.

    Do kids find out their results? When I took them as a kid all we found out was that "60% of grade 3 students are at or above grade level at math".
    DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danifo View Post
    Why do you assume that all kids have the same access to a person to teach them? When my mom taught kindergarten, over half of her kids had never been read to. Parents were irritated that their homework was to either read a short story to their child or be read to. They thought it was a waste of their time. I like the idea that these tests can indicate schools that need more help. It bothers me that that doesn't happen.

    Do kids find out their results? When I took them as a kid all we found out was that "60% of grade 3 students are at or above grade level at math".
    Is your argument that the tests then give the children parents who do read to them? I'd argue that the money wasted on testing could be used to put more 1:1 people IN the classroom to help those students.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    I'm unclear as to what you mean. Currently ST'ing is EXACTLY like these safety standards that you dislike ~ they vary widely across the country. There is NO "Universal Bar". For instance, from the article I linked, students in TX and TN were consistently performing poorly ~ so admin simply made the tests EASIER, now you suddenly have "smarter" students! You (and TX) also have the easiest testing in the country. Is that using the tests to make better students? Or course not.

    How do we pick up on these kids who are getting passed by? Oh, don't know ~ better teaching? More parental involvement? For instance, if a child can't read, don't you think that an actual living, breathing PERSON could be better qualified to pick up on that than a test? Or if it isn't an issue of being able to read, but simply horrible nerves, couldn't that be better identified by a teacher or reading specialist than a test? Can you imagine how much more actual instruction a child would be receiving if 25% of their time wasn't spent learning how to prepare for these tests, and instead was spent learning in ways specific to and geared towards their particular learning style? Can you imagine if instead of paying ~ what was it~ 90 million? In texas alone for these tests we were hiring more classroom support, updating more technology, or offering more specials in the arts or sciences?

    I'm no expert on education, but I'm a little shocked to see a homeschooler, preaching the necessity of standardized testing. It seems to be the absolute farthest thing from what I would think that a homeschooler would support.
    I don't think I've chimed in on this one yet, but this sums up what I would have said. I'm not against *testing* but I am against "standardized" testing because kids are not standardized. They are human, they are each different, they will have different strengths & weaknesses, and they develop at different paces. Most schools test first thing in the morning, which hurts the poor kids who don't get breakfast until they get to school & their brains literally don't have fuel for the test until later in the day. There is no test in the world that can properly assess every single child in the U.S. And as Melis pointed out, the tests aren't even standardized among the states. It's a ridiculous system that is gobbling insane amounts of money every year, not to mention the amount of school-day time that it is wasting for all the teachers & students. If I thought boycotting would work, I'd do it, but sadly I don't think enough parents understand the issue, or care about what their kids do all day at school, to make it work.
    Last edited by Spacers; 04-29-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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  7. #47
    Prolific Poster Danifo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    Is your argument that the tests then give the children parents who do read to them? I'd argue that the money wasted on testing could be used to put more 1:1 people IN the classroom to help those students.
    I'm saying that in theory the tests could target schools where the kids need more help and more intervention is required to bring the kids up to grade level. No testing will give kids parents who are more involved in their academics. Without any kind of testing, how do you determine which school gets more help? I don't feel like the test results are used effectively to justify the time and expense.

    We are moving to another city and I am totally looking at the school's results on the tests. I know there are lots of factors that lead to their results but when I see that only 20% of the kids perform at grade level, I don't want my daughter going there. I don't know if it reflects neighbourhood issues, the teachers, poor test taking or a lack of resources but a rank like that makes me feel it isn't the best environment.
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    How do you tell from standardized testing reports that only 20% of the kids are performing at grade level? In CA, all we get to see is the school's total API score and the school's trend from year to year. Or maybe I just don't know where to look...

    And we do get to see our student's actual score, but we don't get to see the test itself to determine if the answers were marked correctly or not. I actually found two mistakes on the "practice" tests, which are supposedly the exact tests that were taken a few years ago! Just imagine a few years ago all the third-graders who were marked incorrectly when they marked the diagram that correctly showed 1/3 of nine squares shaded. But I'll never know if her test is correct or not because we can't see it.
    The number of U.S. states in which a person can marry the person they love regardless of gender: 30 and counting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    How do you tell from standardized testing reports that only 20% of the kids are performing at grade level? In CA, all we get to see is the school's total API score and the school's trend from year to year. Or maybe I just don't know where to look...

    And we do get to see our student's actual score, but we don't get to see the test itself to determine if the answers were marked correctly or not. I actually found two mistakes on the "practice" tests, which are supposedly the exact tests that were taken a few years ago! Just imagine a few years ago all the third-graders who were marked incorrectly when they marked the diagram that correctly showed 1/3 of nine squares shaded. But I'll never know if her test is correct or not because we can't see it.
    Test Results Search - 2012 STAR Test Results (CA Dept of Education)

    You should be able to see the percentage of students in each band (far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.

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