Who is calling for less testing? You may be surprised!
In a recent public appearance a prominent American made the following comments:
"We have piled on a lot of standardized tests on our kids. Now, there's nothing wrong with a standardized test being given occasionally just to give a baseline of where kids are at."
"Too often what we've been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools."
"Let's find a test that everybody agrees makes sense; let's apply it in a less pressured-packed atmosphere; let's figure out whether we have to do it every year or whether we can do it maybe every several years; and let's make sure that that's not the only way we're judging whether a school is doing well."
"Because there are other criteria: What's the attendance rate? How are young people performing in terms of basic competency on projects?"
"I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching to the test. Because then you're not learning about the world; you're not learning about different cultures, you're not learning about science, you're not learning about math. All you're learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and the little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test. And that's not going to make education interesting to you. And young people do well in stuff that they're interested in. They're not going to do as well if it's boring."
These are messages that more than a few teachers and principals want to hear--less testing, less pressure, less punishment of schools, more meaningful assessments, more focus on high-interest material.
If someone had told me that those were quotes made by President Obama In a town hall meeting hosted by Univision, I would have never believed it. Perhaps the fact that he has two school-aged daughters has helped reality sink in. We can only hope.