In the newspaper today the MCAS results are listed, every school and the percentage of children who scored "proficient" or above. (MCAS is the required standardized in Massachusetts.) On the top of the page are the schools who had the highest percentage of children deemed "advanced" - and the lowest. I've never been a fan of standardized tests, but this is the first time it has really bothered me to see these numbers. All this chart tells you is how many children are good at taking standardized tests. What about the children who are talented artists? Who can write beautiful stories? Who excel at technology? There are so many things these tests can't assess.
My father is dyslexic and didn't learn to read until he was nearly 30. A test like this would have caught this immediately and said he was "failing." What a test couldn't tell you was that this is a man who can fix anything. It's almost instinctive, even when he doesn't really know what he's doing. He plays around with something and suddenly, it's working again!
I understand the desire to monitor how school children are doing, to have country-wide education requirements to make sure children are learning what they need. But I worry that students will take a number on a test and use it against their self-worth. Isn't there a better way?
What are your thoughts on standardized tests? I'd love to hear them!
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