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Are examinations killing education?Are examinations killing education?

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natraj | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:18 PM via web

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 1:19 AM (Answer #2)

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Experts are very divided over the issue of examination in education. Some educational professionals argue that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Perceived benefits are the raising of standards, the easy access to a guaranteed benchmark of excellence for employers and universities, and the raised aspirations and efforts of students when they know there is a test at the end of all their lessons. Classroom attendance in school is said to be better when students know that there is a challenge or a payoff in terms of an examination qualification at the end. other educationalists say that examinations cause stress that is a barrier to learning and that not all students learn the same way or have retentive minds for facts. They are better at coursework moderated through the year.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 9, 2010 at 2:45 AM (Answer #3)

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Like the previous editor said, researchers are indeed always debating.

I will add that what is really hurting education is that the data that these tests bring in is not being used to DIFFERENTIATE instruction, and instead is being used as a sole method of measurement to either open or shut down schools. What this is bringing with it is that teachers are teaching to the test, the test comes and goes, and so does the school.

What needs to happen is that whatever assessment tool we already have should be used to determine what our students NEED nor where our students are. For that, we would need a Pre/Post testing for quantitative correlations. Since that is hardly the case, it would be safe to argue that standardized testing is definitely not being used correctly and eventually will end up killing education as you say.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 2:49 AM (Answer #4)

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There is much in the educational discourse about the nature of high stakes standardized assessment.  There is a definite school of thought that argues placing such a high emphasis on test production and results does kill off the joy of learning.  On one level within this thought, the questions arise as to how students and teachers can enjoy any process of learning when so much of it is linked to success or failure on a test.  There is a strong desire to "teach to the test" solely and not engage in any intellectual exploration outside of this realm.  At the same time, if the exams are written by an external source, teachers lose much of their autonomy having to teach to an exam that they have not had a role in preparing.  At the same time, the stress caused on students who feel pressured to have to succeed on the assessment really removes much in the way of joy in the learning process.  This line of thought is highly persuasive examining how many students feel stressed to an unhealthy level during periods of high stakes standardized assessment.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 9, 2010 at 3:20 AM (Answer #5)

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The short answer is yes.

 

Examination in some form has almost always been a part of education, but the standardized, norm-referenced test is particularly dangerous because it allows a very small group of people to decide what kids or adults should be learning and how they ought to demonstrate that knowledge.  Standardized tests have myriad limitations in that they are almost without fail culturally biased, biased towards certain socio-economic groups, or administered in such a way that they have no bearing on real-world situations, knowledge or experience.

 

There are schools like the Sudbury Valley School that do not administer tests of any kind and one could argue that the "education" at their school (K-12) is incredibly successful.  Lots of people argue that it can't be because they don't measure it, but they do through interactions with the students and adults at the school and there is an enormous amount of "self-examination" happening as the students determine for themselves what areas they need to improve.

But in most schools, examinations are a fact of life, administered by their classroom teachers, by the state, or perhaps sometime soon by the federal government.  Using them as a tool to evaluate teachers or students is a very dangerous game fraught with politicization and all kinds of other nastiness, but using them to determine what areas you want to focus on, etc., is not without its merits.  These tests cannot be used to rank students or teachers, but if they are used to decide that a greater focus on a particular skill set is necessary or that a particular group of students or teachers or even administrators need to work on something, again they can have their merits.  The problem is that they are used almost exclusively to do the former rather than the latter.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 5:57 AM (Answer #6)

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Since everyone else seems to be leaning toward "yes" I will go with the "no" side of the argument.

Here in the US, at least, I would argue that we say testing is ruining education because we don't know how to fix education and we need to blame it on something other than ourselves as teachers or society (in the form of bad parents and underprivileged kids).

Many teachers have gotten "fat and lazy."  Teachers can essentially not be fired so they don't have a stake in making sure every kid learns.  So they don't like being forced to make sure kids pass tests.

But most teachers are good and they care.  But they're weighed down by teaching kids whose parents haven't paid enough attention to them and have let them grow up in front of TVs.  Or by kids whose parents have so little education that they can't help their kids learn or pass on to them the message that learning is important.

We see the problems, but we blame the messenger (the test) rather than the real causes of the problems.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 9, 2010 at 6:50 AM (Answer #7)

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No way.  Testing is a scapegoat, a red herring.  Sure, bad tests hurt eduction, but good tests achieve its goals.

Tests that pander to the lowest-levels of achievement (like many state standardized tests) are setting schools up to fail.  They hamstring districts into homogenizing students and instruction so that only basic skill levels are achieved.  Some teacher-made tests do this as well.  If a classroom teacher wants students to do well, an easy test is given (one that applies only to knowledge and comprehension levels of thinking).  In short, a bad test is a bad test, state or teacher-made.  What's worse is penalizing a school district for doing poorly on these tests.  It's setting schools up to fail and widening the disparity between the haves and the have-nots.  It makes real estate and gene pools a matter of priority instead of the good will of students.

There are good--nay great--standardized tests.  The AP curriculum tests are extremely challenging.  These tests set high standards, as they are closely aligned with both high school and college curricula.  The brightest minds in public education come together to make these tests.  They are mandates for improving instruction and helping in breaking down barriers between high schools and colleges.  Many classroom teachers can make similar tests, but it takes much prep time and planning with peers.

There are many other, worse things killing education--mostly political.  High schools are things of the past.  They need to change with today's society instead of the agrarian/Industrial Age-model of a century ago.  Most schools are too big and have bloated budgets; they are cities unto themselves that are being pulled in so many directions that education becomes a line item on an agenda.  Testing is way down on the list as a possible detractor.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:49 AM (Answer #8)

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Everyone has an opinion, so I'll throw mine in as a 17-year veteran of the public schools.  The emphasis on high stakes testing has been disastrous.  Not only does the test fail to adequately measure the full knowledge, capability and quality of a student, but it convinces that student that the purpose of his/her education is simply to pass the test.  It robs education of its creativity by artifically staking the curriculum to a strict set of criteria.  It robs the classroom of the educational time it takes to give the exam each year (about 5 days for our school).  Then the results of the test are too often used as the end all be all indication of the success or failure of the school and the teacher.  Some states pay teachers merit pay, or withhold it, based on student scores.  The belief in these high stakes tests, by people who are not educators (they're legislators), ignores the multiple societal factors that determine student success or failure.  It ignores the responsibility of family and society to aid in a student's education.  And it saps the morale of teachers in the classroom - educated, experienced, professional teachers who know more than anyone about how to teach their subject matter, and systematically drives good teachers from the profession. 

What's more, they're not committed to the testing.  As soon as the recession hit and budgets became tight, suddenly these all-important tests started flying out the window.  As teachers we now wait for the next trend/fad to come down the pike from the state so we can adjust our classroom teaching to meet that temporary "solution".

I couldn't be more against standardized, high stakes testing.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 10, 2010 at 5:28 AM (Answer #9)

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I appreciate that on such a touchy topic the opinions offered are passionate and well -founded. Education is cyclical; in fact Howard Gardner compares it to a swinging pendulum, with the pendulum currently being in the “testing” region of the arc. However, testing is not ruining education-- it is killing the joy of learning for students by forcing their learning to be more focused on the product than the process. Frequently, students are not allowed to discover meaning, and consequently many of them become disengaged. In addition numerous, more creative ways to assess learning are overlooked.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 10, 2010 at 5:36 AM (Answer #10)

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I would add to the last post not only is it killing the joy of learning for students it is also killing the joy of teaching for teachers. There is so much emphasis put on state mandated testing that teachers spend most of the year preparing for the test and then praying that their students do well enough on that one "snapshot" of their abilities that their school is not penalized for lack of performance.

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thompso | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 14, 2010 at 12:16 PM (Answer #11)

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In my opinion testing as a diagnostic tool is not bad and for young teachers the standards and guidelines set by the test can be helpful.  Testing is also designed to hold teachers accountable.  Without some of the standardized tests teachers can get carried away in the specifics that they prefer. 

The biggest downfall that I see with testing is the decrease in the depth.  Some of the standards are so basic and it eliminates opportunities for some projects due to the mad rush to teach all of the standards. 

I guess I am torn on the topic, as with most educators.

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kim-c | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 15, 2010 at 2:07 AM (Answer #12)

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As a grade 12 student, living in Australia, I don't know much about other countries, but the rule here in Oz is that students can't be given more than two exams in any one day. I feel that we need exams because we need to be assessed somehow, along with assignments but with assignments, there are heaps of people that can help you with it and you have more time to do it but you also need to show that in exams, you can do the unit individually, without anyone helping you, in a maximum of 2 and a half hours.

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ankithelen | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted April 15, 2010 at 7:52 AM (Answer #13)

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Exam is not the right way to test students.

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paigejeanes | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 15, 2010 at 11:23 AM (Answer #14)

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As a tenth grade science teacher, I feel that some testing is necessary, not only to see what the students learned and retained, but also to see if I should go back and clarify any topics.  There are also many other ways to assess students without giving an exam.

At the same time, much of what I do and teach is determined for me by my district and state. So, sometimes what I want to do isn't what I do because of predetermined rules.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:01 AM (Answer #15)

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After poking around a little bit more, being new to the site and all, I found it interesting to look at the little blurb about schools in Finland and the way they use exams.  I think one of the issues is not just with tests, but that we test for the sake of testing to a certain extent.  There is nothing wrong with evaluating students if the goal is to improve or inform instruction, or if the students see there is a real purpose behind the test.  If they pass this test they can be a lifegaurd, of course there are real skills you want them to have and they can't actually get the job until they pass.

But if you are having them take standardized tests with no real goal besides the test itself, it is difficult to understand why they would be motivated to even try hard on it, let alone prepare for it.  We keep saying, as a nation, that we need to raise our standards and get every student to meet them, but what are these standards?  If businesses are really struggling to find qualified people, let them devise tests that folks would need to pass in order to work there and let them help people prepare.  It should not be incumbent upon schools to serve as ranking facilities where kids are sorted into who is a have and who is a have not.

If we were using tests to inform instruction, we would likely spend more time improving the connection between the examinations and the actual changes to the way the school would work which could be extremely helpful.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:31 PM (Answer #16)

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To some degree examinations are necessary.  They help establish a line that demonstrates growth for students.  However, the way that exams have been used to address funding has beenincreasing problems through-out the states has made school less enjoyable for teachers and students.

The teaching standards have been pushed upon teachers and they have become pawns in a teach to test environment.  I find that the testing criteria has hurt our educational system.

If someone really wanted to improve the quality of education for our students, money would be poured into decreasing class size, incrasing building space and making the classrooms smaller groups with more direct teaching where teachers can be creative.

At my school we will be having 32 students per class next year.  The EC self-contained children are going to be moved into a general education classroom and only served through resource.  North Carolina's education system is a mess thanks to a poor budget.

Right now I har children beginning to talk about the EOG's coming up.  They are already stressed and we have six weeks to go before the tests.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:32 PM (Answer #17)

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To some degree examinations are necessary.  They help establish a line that demonstrates growth for students.  However, the way that exams have been used to address funding has beenincreasing problems through-out the states has made school less enjoyable for teachers and students.

The teaching standards have been pushed upon teachers and they have become pawns in a teach to test environment.  I find that the testing criteria has hurt our educational system.

If someone really wanted to improve the quality of education for our students, money would be poured into decreasing class size, incrasing building space and making the classrooms smaller groups with more direct teaching where teachers can be creative.

At my school we will be having 32 students per class next year.  The EC self-contained children are going to be moved into a general education classroom and only served through resource.  North Carolina's education system is a mess thanks to a poor budget.

Right now I hear children beginning to talk about the EOG's coming up.  They are already stressed and we have six weeks to go before the tests.

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figlover | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM (Answer #18)

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Partially it is

as a student i feel pressured about exams and only study the part where the exam will be testing

but to be frank if there was no exam i would not study subjects that i don't like. so exam sort of balances the studies

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM (Answer #19)

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Examinations are very important when attempting to find out what a student has learned. It is also important to remember that this can be accomplished through other means as well.

Examinations also need to be carefully administered to students with special needs. Some ways to do this are reading the test to them and offering them fewer choices as answers.

Examinations are important but the process of actually teaching the material to the point to where the students understand it is more important.

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nusratfarah | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 19, 2010 at 7:16 AM (Answer #20)

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All the experts here have given there opinions, now what I'll say is - examinations, in my opinion, are not destroying education system.

Exam is a yardstick on the basis of which you can measure your own potential if you are a student. And if you are a teacher, you can test yourself as well as your students, since if students fail, the responsibility of this failure is partly yours. Most importantly, exams should be taken at a regular basis, and thus, students will be able to test their potential on their own on the basis of what they have learnt so far from the educators. Moreover, regular tests make students perform better. So, exams are necessary, not destructive.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 19, 2010 at 7:38 AM (Answer #21)

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One of the questions that doesn't often get asked is what these examinations are actually measuring.  I agree with some of the other posters along the lines of examinations being necessary in a way, but how often do we actually have a good handle on what it is that the tests are actually telling us?

We have a national mandate to help students perform better on the exams, and to raise standards (because really, how could raising standards be bad?) but we haven't addressed the underlying question about what those exams are doing and what are the standards we want to raise?  Given that we are in the midst of what some people argue is the most dynamic period in human history with some of the technologies we have and the rapidly changing workplace, how can we measure someone's preparedness for a particular job, etc., that we don't know anything about yet and we are trying to measure it with a written test where students fill in bubbles?

That was pretty convoluted and likely one of the worst sentences ever perpetrated upon the English language, but hopefully it makes some sense.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:50 AM (Answer #22)

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Obviously no simple yes or no would be a fitting answer to this question. Personally, I am not in favor of doing away with all sorts of examination, for in any formal set-up there must be some kind of assessment of the learner's achievements.Perhaps, the problem lies in the standardized modes of examination. The basic philosophy of examination is not to know how much a student has failed to learn, but to know how much a student has managed to learn in the process of being taught. Framing of the syllabus / curriculum, methods of teaching, effectiveness on the part of teachers to motivate the students, students' involvement in the teaching-learning process, mutual relationship of trust between the teacher and the taught etc. are extremely important and they have serious bearing on the system of examination.An examination system should always be subject to constant review and reformation, keeping the requirements and ambitions of the learners' minds.If the syllabus-makers, the teachers, the paper-setters, the moderators and the examiners, all work together with enough flexibility of approach, examinations shall no more mar the true learning.

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lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM (Answer #23)

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I don;t think that it is examinations that are killing schools so much as oit is the kind of examinations that are being given, Testing is a good way to gauge level of understanding, but testing should be reflective of the scope of that material that has been taught and not a measure of how well the test taker can guess the correct answer. Examinations should consist of both multiple choice and essay questions, thereby allowing those students who know the concepts and can relate them well a chance to shine in the written portion even if they have trouble with multiple choice tests. These exams should also reflect the actual curriculum as taught by the school, not a set of questions chosen by some outside agency who is not in the classroom and does not know the material that is being taught. The problem with the testing systems we have now (and by this I mean standardized tests like the FCAT) is that teachers have been forced to teach to the test, rite memorization style, and have lost the ability to relate concepts from the past to ideas in the present on a broader scale.

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cchaninal | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 24, 2010 at 4:54 PM (Answer #24)

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I am a contracted professional in an elementary school. I understand the need for a type of measurement of what the student has learned for the year. What makes me so unhappy as a parent is the fact that in most schools as has been stated above, the test is being taught the whole year with very little else going on. In my particular school, music is taught one half of the year once per week and art is done the same way, with kindergarten having no art. The principal at this school after making it clear that there was still "teaching to be done" after the standardized testing, decided to make the teachers clean out their rooms of all the "junk" they do not use. While the teachers frantically went through their stuff (they were given 2 days each in-between lunch, etc.), someone on staff babysat the class. As I was walking down the hall I heard the principal tell this particular teacher to get rid of her microscopes and GeoSafari units that she had used in the past for science and geography. He told her he was going to surplus them which is another way of saying, throw them away. With total disbelief, she asked him why. He told her that those subjects were not tested in fourth grade and that they couldn't waste time on those subjects because they had to teach only what is on the test. This is a school in a disadvantaged area and what most of these kids learn at school will be all they will ever learn. The world has gone mad.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 25, 2010 at 3:42 PM (Answer #25)

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It is a difficult topic, as all of us have indicated both sides of the argument. On the one hand, I managed to achieve a top grade in my Math exam because I have a very good short term memory, wheras now I need to ask help from my fellow teachers to work out basic percentages. On the other hand, in an age of plagiarism and for some subjects, are examinations the only true method of testing knowledge and skills in a subject? I do believe that we as teachers can be subversive within the examination system, and by that I mean we do not need to choose to teach wholly to the exam itself and we can allow other agendas to shape our curriculum.

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ph3nixdown | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 26, 2010 at 10:40 PM (Answer #26)

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As a student of 20 years in my opinion testing, if done correctly is a good thing in the grandest sense of the word at least from high school onward.  It directs goals, keeps both teachers and students focused and on task, all the while giving students a sense of accomplishment. Passing tests has given me a sense of validity to the work I have done and with some especially intelligent teachers/test makers has even caused me to think more deeply about subject matter.

State and government mandated testing on the other hand is a different story.  While testing should be used to differentiate gifted kids and those that need extra help - the top and bottom 5% of students, the system unfortunately is currently set-up so that the test is more of a system of checks - checking to ensure that certain pieces of information are taught (or at least memorized) by the students.  Although it is ashame that this testing could be used so much more effectively, I am doubtful that allowing bureaucrats to dictate tests/testing methods will ever work. This I believe is what most of the people on here that are against testing are talking about when they claim that examinations are killing education.

 

ps - to the English teachers out there, please pardon the poor grammar  - I am a science major and it is going on midnight ;-)

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swimma-logan | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 18, 2010 at 3:54 AM (Answer #27)

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Certainly it's not killing education persay, as a test is to measure what you've learned, however it also can merely measure how much you've studied. With standardized testing such as the SAT's, FCAT, MCAS, NRT's, or even AP tests, teachers only teach what they think will be on the test, not what you may need to know in the future. There are no comprehensive exams in schools anymore and THAT, a test that truley measures what has been learned, a test with a written, an oral, and a practical (if applicable) would be grand and ideal. But testing as is done now is useless, pointless, and teachers only teach to the tests. It's a shame...

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ali001 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted May 22, 2010 at 10:55 PM (Answer #28)

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IN my opinion only the government erxams are killing the education system because some schools concentrate there circulim on this these exams, the students start to miss out on Physical sport games sociall life . but the normall exams are good if they are for the teachers.

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dcteacher | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:02 PM (Answer #29)

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Examinations are not killing education. In order for educators to gauge what there students know and/or what their students have learned students must be given assessment or tests. Do they need to be multiple choice or essay question or free response? Do they need to be long tests or short quizzes? The debate continues. But I believe some assessment can be quick question and answer sessions during instructional and can be administered without formative assessing. One thing is for certain , educators need to check for understanding more often and students need immediate feedback on how they are doing. Also, alternative assessments need to be used more such as 'project based learning' and technology does need to utilized more not less.

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simk15 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 26, 2010 at 2:39 AM (Answer #30)

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in short ya.......

i don't know why are they doing like this to us.............??

they teach us thats ok!!

but they just keep on forcing us to read more........we are human beings not any pressure machines or pressure cooker(kind of example...)

if this goes on.............i'am sure that the next generation wo'nt even bother to study as much we do......

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ali001 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted May 26, 2010 at 2:41 AM (Answer #31)

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I agree with the fact That Dc teacher has mentioned that the educators to gauge what there students know and/or what their students have learned students must be given assessments but

 But i Think THat Government Test are Killing the education system in schools because that the results are being shown publicly. 

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swimma-logan | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:20 AM (Answer #32)

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I agree with the fact That Dc teacher has mentioned that the educators to gauge what there students know and/or what their students have learned students must be given assessments but

 But i Think THat Government Test are Killing the education system in schools because that the results are being shown publicly. 

I don't understand why or how publicizing results could possibly impact education. If I failed a standardized test, and you know it, that does not effect me in any way shape or form.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM (Answer #33)

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I would guess that the idea of government administered tests being a problem with publicized results is that it creates an incredible bias towards certain groups of people as well as towards individuals.

Particularly with the big push for teacher "accountability" being linked mostly to test scores, this will become very serious for those who have the results published.  As an English teacher, if you have a group of kids come into your room who've never read a book, never had a book in their home and whose parents didn't read to them when they were children, and you are expected to turn them into competent readers but you aren't allowed to do what you think is best once you get to know them (because you have to follow the scripted curriculum from the state/district/school whatever), it is very dangerous to hold you accountable for something you had zero control over.  You might be the greatest teacher ever, but the scores your kids got show only one thing:  You are a complete and utter failure.

So I can think of a few situations where publicizing the results are going to lead to some pretty stupid and very unpleasant consequences.

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ourlittlesecret | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:26 AM (Answer #34)

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Pressure..

you do so much better in the class room doing normal book work. It could effect your levels D:

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xlaurenbx | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:45 AM (Answer #35)

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It feels like there is less pressure on you if you do the tests in a class room in exam conditions, for me it makes me more stressed in a hall with everyone and all of the teachers wheras in a classroom in exam conditions you can relax more and so will be able to do better in the tests I always do better whan I am in the classroom because of pressure. I think that tests are important and we should do them bt maybe we should do them in different circumstances and then maybe we will get better results because we can think more clearly and feel less pressured than when we are in halls.

 

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ali001 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:46 PM (Answer #36)

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I agree with the fact That Dc teacher has mentioned that the educators to gauge what there students know and/or what their students have learned students must be given assessments but

 But i Think THat Government Test are Killing the education system in schools because that the results are being shown publicly. 

I don't understand why or how publicizing results could possibly impact education. If I failed a standardized test, and you know it, that does not effect me in any way shape or form.

the point that im trying to make is why is that the government exams results are being pulished in the papers on the news. and its not just that it is also the point that the governmemt is puting on a web sites and naming of what the school has done. Some of the schools are getiing very bad reputations because of the government test.

and because of this some schools are directing there studies on this exams.

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seemaa | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2010 at 12:23 AM (Answer #37)

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Its not so !!

While it might be true that examinations as the sole criterion for judging performance might not be a good idea , examinations can still be used as one of the many performance criteria. Examinations can be combined with other tools like projects , assignments and presentations to judge a student's performance. The weightages for the different tools would have to be carefully chosen after taking into consideration the nature of the course as well as the depth of the course. If the subject calls for a mere understanding of the facts , the weightage of examinations can be more . However if the subject has more practical implementaions , the weightages for the projects can be made substantially higher. Also rather than questioning the usefulness of exams , it would be better if we focus on the nature / quality of the questions in the examination . If the questions call for a mere cramming of the subject , it would not necessarily be a good judgement of the students abilities. On the other hand , if the questions were to test the understanding of the concepts and the applications that it could have , it calls for a larger amount of analysis /thinking from the student . Such an examination would be more ideal to hudge the student

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culbja01 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:19 PM (Answer #38)

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There is much in the educational discourse about the nature of high stakes standardized assessment.  There is a definite school of thought that argues placing such a high emphasis on test production and results does kill off the joy of learning.  On one level within this thought, the questions arise as to how students and teachers can enjoy any process of learning when so much of it is linked to success or failure on a test.  There is a strong desire to "teach to the test" solely and not engage in any intellectual exploration outside of this realm.  At the same time, if the exams are written by an external source, teachers lose much of their autonomy having to teach to an exam that they have not had a role in preparing.  At the same time, the stress caused on students who feel pressured to have to succeed on the assessment really removes much in the way of joy in the learning process.  This line of thought is highly persuasive examining how many students feel stressed to an unhealthy level during periods of high stakes standardized assessment.

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angiewill | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted June 6, 2010 at 5:51 PM (Answer #39)

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My answer to this question is absolutely yes.  I watch my students gradually lose their love for learning because they are fully aware that the test is everything.  I teach 5th grade and in Texas, students must pass Reading and Math for promotion to grade 6.  They are given 3 opportunities to do so, but if they arent' successful the first time, their self-esteem is shot, so they tend to shut down. Many of these students do well in the classroom, their main issues is anxiety.

On the other hand, I also have students who do nothing in class.  They are aware that our district will allow TAKS scores to in essance, test them out of the class.  I have student who are failing for the year but are being promoted to the next grade because they did well on the test.

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mrpoirier | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 7, 2010 at 8:12 AM (Answer #40)

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There is much in the educational discourse about the nature of high stakes standardized assessment.  There is a definite school of thought that argues placing such a high emphasis on test production and results does kill off the joy of learning.  On one level within this thought, the questions arise as to how students and teachers can enjoy any process of learning when so much of it is linked to success or failure on a test.  There is a strong desire to "teach to the test" solely and not engage in any intellectual exploration outside of this realm.  At the same time, if the exams are written by an external source, teachers lose much of their autonomy having to teach to an exam that they have not had a role in preparing.  At the same time, the stress caused on students who feel pressured to have to succeed on the assessment really removes much in the way of joy in the learning process.  This line of thought is highly persuasive examining how many students feel stressed to an unhealthy level during periods of high stakes standardized assessment.

  I truly believe that the emphasis on high stakes testing has increased exponentially in the twelve, or so, years since I had to take the ACT.  At that time, it was up to the student to take the initiaitive to sign up for the test and take it, ususlly, on a Saturday morning.  In other words, NOT EVERYONE WAS FORCED TO TAKE THE ACT.  In Illinois, every junior has to take the PSAE, which is both the ACT and another test called the work keys.  It is based upon these scores, partially, that our school is ranked and receives money.  The pressure to take and do well on this test manifests itself in my students. Some students have freequent panick attacks and others, literally got sick to their stomachs before and during the examinations.  Juniors in high school should not feel pressure to the point of anxiety and even physical sickness.  It is ridiculous. 

In  addition, I don't believer that EVERY child should go to college.  It seems to me that people are being pushed into higher education that may prefer to go into a skilled trade, etc.  There are increasing numbers of people with Bachelors degrees to the point that they are almost worthless and I believet that it is due to the increased pressure put on high stakes testing and a ridiculous beliefthat EVERYONE aught to go to college. 

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lmallow | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 2:37 PM (Answer #41)

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High stakes testing does not always measure achievement.  Some students do not test well because of test anxiety, learning problems and behavior problems.  The teacher is the best judge of what their students have acheived. 

Testing causes unecessary stress for teachers and students.

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM (Answer #42)

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I don't think any one factor can "kill" education,  but the pressure on teachers, students, as well as on administrators, for school improvement negatively impacts education.  Sure, examinations are a form of assessment, and as educators we need to be held accountable for what is learned in our classroom, but examinations are not the sole means of assessment. A student may enter my classroom at a third-grade reading level and leave at a fifth.  This particular student most likely will not pass the high school reading exam, but this student did improve and learn throughout the year. Was this student successful? Yes, but the examination will indicate that he or she was not. Killing education? Not fairly representing education? Yes.

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ewhitebeck1 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 7:04 AM (Answer #43)

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I am experiencing a similar situation to ktmagalia (see post above) in that many of my 11th grade students read at a low level and I am the one who is criticized when they don't perform well on material that is written at 11th grade level.  If the child's starting point is not taken into consideration then the teacher's performance cannot be accurately measured. My students will often shut down when there's a standardized test, especially if it is a benchmark type test and will not count as a grade or toward graduation.  They know that if they don't pass the state exam for graduation they have a second chance and then they have two chances to compose a portfolio of work in order to graduate.

Yes, assessments must be done, but browbeating the students into them and then giving them another and another chance to pass seems to be a waste of time, and for some, cruel.  Some of my mainstream (general education) students have never been accurately identified as special education students and may never pass any of these.  Others become 2nd-year seniors or simply plan to quit school.

High school teachers cannot fix the failures from the first 9 years of education.  We are not their parents; we are the ones who are taking the heat when they don't graduate.

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kblinder | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2010 at 4:41 PM (Answer #44)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

The benefit or lack of benefit of examinations depends a great deal on the students being taught.  For students with intrinsic motivation for learning, examinations may be a detriment, deadening natural initiative and enthusiasm.  However, where students are extrinsically motivated, examinations may serve a useful purpose.

Let me give an illustration.  I had one group of students in the evening who were learning English because it would help them with their jobs or other aspects of their lives.  They were highly motivated to learn.  I soon realized that any quizzes or exams were having a negative effect, only making students anxious, and I dispensed with quizzes and exams altogether.  However, that same semester, I had in another course during the day which had many young college students who needed to pass the course in order to take other courses they needed for their majors.  They merely wanted to pass, and had little intrinsic motivation.  I found that frequent quizzes were very helpful in keeping students motivated in that class.

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englis | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2010 at 10:18 AM (Answer #45)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

yes it is be'coz education is fr help in life and to analysis is very important for our use in life examinations are killing education

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ricardoe | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2010 at 6:29 AM (Answer #46)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

i believe that what is killing education is the politics involved in our educational system..you have the local government trying to figure out its district's need...then you have the state and federal government putting in their 2 cents's worth and the problem is that these entities never seem to find common ground..As far as the tests, we are creating a generation of either good test takers, or those whose anxiety levels keep them from passing these tests, at the expense of affording students a well-rounded education

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ricrobrod | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 15, 2010 at 12:33 PM (Answer #47)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

Examinations are taking a lot of the learning experience out of the classroom. Teachers are being limited to the amount of time they can spend on the hands-on lessons that students benefit from in order to get to the materials that will be on the test in April. We find ourselves rushing to cover objectives the students will be tested on and in the process we are having to teach many concepts quickly instead of teaching each concept deeply. Teaching to the test is not what is being taught to prospective teachers in college. They are being told that they will have some freedom in their classrooms to teach interesting and life relating lessons. When they get into their own classroom and find out that they have to teach 36 weeks of lessons in about 30 weeks panic sets in and many change professions.  There has got to be a better way to check for mastery than the testing system we have now that constantly moves the bar, changes the requirements and causes such panic and anxiety in teachers and students alike.

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saranade | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:51 PM (Answer #48)

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I believe that a number of factors are killing our education, and testing methods happens to be one factor of many.  As many have already mentioned, parents and society have placed much of parenting responsibility on teachers.  As ricrobrod mentioned, there's not only too much being taught, but teachers are expected to all teach at the same pace as far as NCLB is concerned.

Yet at the same time, in teacher training we are told that we should be able to adapt the curriculum to the needs of our students.  In reality, the test comes first, state standards come second, and curriculum is there somewhere but with far less priority.

And I believe Colorado's recent legislation will likely exacerbate the testing issues.  While a handful say that they think it'll help weed out bad teachers by tieing test scores to teacher performance, only the tiniest handful of phenomenal teachers could possibly manage to motivate students if they are completely unwilling to be engaged. This means even good teachers will be punished for not being Jaime Escalante or Erin Gruwell.

I think many including legislators don't realize that even really good teachers can't all be miracle workers, but they have a movie-based unrealistic expectation and they are now basing legislation on a nearly impossible ideal.

 

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kvglynn | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 22, 2010 at 6:09 PM (Answer #49)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

In my school system, we are required to complete a test in every subject twice a month. This test must be standardized across the grade level, and scores are reported to the school district. We then have to take a district-wide test every nine weeks and the school district looks at these scores as well. These tests are meant to track student progress, but it puts a lot of stress on the students and teachers to make sure the students pass these tests. This puts the classroom on a strict schedule, and often forces teachers to move on with material in an attempt to expose students to as much of the material as possible as opposed to making sure that the students master the material. While this may appear effective because the bi-weekly and even nine weeks scores are high, the overall mastery of the content is poor and students often struggle to recall content from prior years and even prior semesters.

A little more flexible scheduling and giving teachers a little more freedom would, in this situation at least, seem to increase student mastery of content and create more prouctive students.

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tikle | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 1, 2010 at 12:20 PM (Answer #50)

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in my view examinations are a boon towards students.students study just because of examinations.they do not kill students.

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angelacox | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:08 AM (Answer #51)

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High stakes testing is "not only killing the joy of learning for students but also killing the joy of teaching for teachers." Learning should be authentic. Is this possible with high stakes testing? It is impossible to gauge student learning throughout the year in a one day, one session, one content specific test. It is also cruel and unusual punishment to apply so much pressure on very young children to perform on the day of the test. There are hundreds (probably thousands) of students each year that develop health issues related to taking the high stakes tests. Districts are applying more and more pressure to administrators to have higher performing campuses and administrators are applying  directives to teachers. Teachers, in turn, apply the pressure to students. Relationships are severed between all parties involved and integrity is compromised. It is a sad day when teachers look at the long awaited experience of developing an exemplary campus only to stop and ask yourself, "Was it worth the cost?" And realizing that it wasn't. It doesn't even come close to being worth the stress, anxiety, and tension that is oftentimes placed on a campus. The school that should be celebrating find themselves struggling with the question, "Is this all there is to education?" And, "Is this really what I want to continue doing?"

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angelacox | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:27 AM (Answer #52)

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"Standardized testing is not only killing the joy of student learning but of teachers teaching." There has never been more stress, anxiety, and tension on the part of both the teachers and the students than there is in education today. Learning should be authentic. Is this possible with high stakes testing? It is a sad day when a campus finally gets a long awaited "Exemplary" rating only to realize how meaningless the title really is. District leaders have made it more and more difficult for administrators to be transformational leaders rather than authoratative leaders. Therefore, administrators are finding it difficult not to micro-manage and send out school-wide directives that have the potential to destroy the joy and passion of the teachers in the thick of the action all day every day. When the "Exemplary" or "Recognized" status comes through, the district leaders and the campus administrators look great! But what does this truly do for the teachers who made it happen? From a teacher's perspective, standardized testing causes a compromise of character and integrity on the part of school leaders. It isn't about students and teachers anymore - it is about people in high places getting validation for something they are not responsible for. Teachers are stopping to ask, "Is it worth the sacrifices I had to make?" And, "Is this really how I want to live out my life passion of teaching?" 

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carolynrowe | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM (Answer #53)

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Are examinations killing education?

Are examinations killing education?

As a new teacher, retired lawyer, I have found that there is always an excuse for something less than excellence.  Education is inherently "graded" based.  Just as in law, there might be flaws in the universal system.  However, that does not mean that the system, itself, is broken.  Perhaps, instead of blaming examinations, it would be more beneficial to attack the overwhelming competitive nature of society.  My experience suggests that whether you want to be the "baddest" gang dude or have the highest grade in physics, competitiveness overrides judgment.  Just a thought...

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smartygauri | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 13, 2010 at 7:47 AM (Answer #54)

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I disagree!They are not killing us instead they are giving a birth to a hope to do some thing in life and if by stopping them you think you are right then you are wrong because you are killing the one thousandth chance of a back bencher to do something in life!

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lynnetteholly | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM (Answer #55)

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I think poverty is killing education.  If legislators focused as much time, money, effort,  and energy on ending poverty as they do debating about the uses of standardized tests we would be in much better place as a country.

 

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lcp | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 16, 2010 at 6:12 AM (Answer #56)

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The question of testing plagues educators at every level. So much emphasis on this one measure of being educated has sucked the joy out of many classroom experiences. On the other hand, accountability of teachers and their students' performance and achievement is important too. Examinations seem to have become the primary focus of what we do in school now, and I too wonder whether they are killing education. However, I believe that education as we have known it for a very long time in America needs to die and get resurrected as something new and different. So, if examinations are indeed killing education (and I have no real answer for that) perhaps it is time that something did, and we can start over again.

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mslane | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 17, 2010 at 9:20 AM (Answer #57)

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Everyone has an opinion, so I'll throw mine in as a 17-year veteran of the public schools.  The emphasis on high stakes testing has been disastrous.  Not only does the test fail to adequately measure the full knowledge, capability and quality of a student, but it convinces that student that the purpose of his/her education is simply to pass the test.  It robs education of its creativity by artifically staking the curriculum to a strict set of criteria.  It robs the classroom of the educational time it takes to give the exam each year (about 5 days for our school).  Then the results of the test are too often used as the end all be all indication of the success or failure of the school and the teacher.  Some states pay teachers merit pay, or withhold it, based on student scores.  The belief in these high stakes tests, by people who are not educators (they're legislators), ignores the multiple societal factors that determine student success or failure.  It ignores the responsibility of family and society to aid in a student's education.  And it saps the morale of teachers in the classroom - educated, experienced, professional teachers who know more than anyone about how to teach their subject matter, and systematically drives good teachers from the profession. 

What's more, they're not committed to the testing.  As soon as the recession hit and budgets became tight, suddenly these all-important tests started flying out the window.  As teachers we now wait for the next trend/fad to come down the pike from the state so we can adjust our classroom teaching to meet that temporary "solution".

I couldn't be more against standardized, high stakes testing.

Of all  the posts, this one echoes my sentiment. It indeed takes a village to raise a child and no one seems to factor in these other factors that affects children's learning. One cannot gauge what a student has learned based upon 5 days of testing. I have been teaching for 10 years and I have seen so many good colleagues leave the profession primarily due to the lack of respect of the profession.

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ebrip | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 21, 2010 at 8:36 AM (Answer #58)

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Yes examinations are killing education;

this is because the concept of examination has been totally misconstrued from what it purported to serve. for example taking a look at my country Nigeria examinations are used as a yardstick for students promotion from one level to the next so in a bid to getting promoted just like your other class mates, students employ dubious means of meeting up by engaging them selves in examination malpractices and impersonation in the class room to getting promoted.

Again, being that scores in examinations are given higher priorities in my country, students rather skip very important classes and go for vocational jobs that will provide them with finances to use in settling their class teachers in other to make good grades for promotion. more so, lots of students read just for examination purpose (cramming). my lecturers are helping to kill education because they believe so much on paper work than your verbal reasoning.

in essence, if only the purpose of examination's setup in schools can be given more light that maybe it is only being used to test our level of understanding in a particular subject and not on the basis of promotion then it could go a long way to salvaging our educational systems and not trying to demoralize brilliant but poor students (those who cannot pay their way to making scores).

we are being educated to pass exams and not for functionality.

 

 

 

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flamingogirl | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 22, 2010 at 5:56 AM (Answer #59)

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Yes. In some ways, I hate to say that because I'm not against teachers being held accountable for teaching the appropriate curriculum. In my state, that's why end of grade testing was originally implemented. It was too easy for teachers to skim over (or just plain skip) parts of the curriculum that didn't interest them or that they didn't feel confident teaching. That said, however, NCLB has taken that to a horrible extreme. Teachers and schools are being judged entirely on test scores with no regard for other factors, such as individual growth and less tangible factors such as a child's socio-economic status, which often affects his/her learning environment at home. If the government wants to test students, those tests should look for individual student growth. I have no problem helping my students grow by one year or sometimes more. But if you give me a room full of students who are on a 3rd grade level, then it's unreasonable to expect those same children to pass a 5th-grade level test at the end of the year. By punishing schools and teachers who do not live up to these ridiculous standards, education is suffering. Schools have started spending less time on actual curriculum and more time on how to take the test. The children will suffer for it, and so will our nation's international standing.

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shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 22, 2010 at 2:43 PM (Answer #60)

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One of the reasons I retired when I did was excessive testing.  In Florida, students from grades 3-10 are given the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Aptitude Test).  I would watch as students eyes rolled back in their heads at the mention of the dreaded FCAT. 

Eduation 101 teaches that no two students learn at the same rate or in the same way, thus a variety of "tests" to grade their learning.  These could be projects or group classwork or written assignments or multiple choice test, etc.

One size does not fit all, so tests like the FCAT tend to get rid of those students who do not fit the mold.  This adds to the drop out rate but the school's tests scores and grade look good.  Yes, schools are given a grade A-F on their FCAT scores.  Schools with high grades get a reward whereas a low score is punished.

Millions of dollars are spent on FCAT materials.  A student receives a workbook in each grade for each FCAT tested discipline.  Millions more are spent in grading the tests themselves.  In other words, instead of spending this money on teachers, smaller classes, etc., it is spent on making companies rich.

Testing has a place in education but the high stakes testing such as FCAT test only whether a student can pass a standaized test.  Students have been known to fail the FCAT but score 12,000+ on the SATs.  They can get into college but can't graduate from high school.

As Aristotle taught, all things in moderation. 

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM (Answer #61)

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While I like having a snapshot picture of how our students are doing in a given year, I have a hard time with Illinois' use of the ACT as our measure of Adequate Yearly Progress for NCLB.   Even with score ranges to determine "success" the philosophy behind NCLB is that we can keep raising the bar, and all students will be able to make it over.  The problem I see is that the ACT test isn't designed with that in mind.  Given the incredible multitude of factors that affect student acheivement, it is not conceivable that eventually, all students will get a perfect score on the test.  While our school has worked diligently to align our curriculum and assessements to the College Readiness Standards as outlined by the ACT, this still doesn't account for the innumerable variables that are out of our control.  I agree with many of the previous posts that testing and accountibilty are valuable, but I hate that they sometimes become the end game of education.                                      

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vonn | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 29, 2010 at 2:53 AM (Answer #62)

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Examinations is a form of evaluation.

a. These will monitor the level of learning of the students.

b. It will diagnose the aspect of difficulty of the students

c. It will assess the teaching of the teacher, either effective or not.

d. It will serve as guide to further teaching

e. It will serve as basis for school development

f. It will reflect on the attainment of goals and objectives of the school

 

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chimeric | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 7, 2010 at 1:22 PM (Answer #63)

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I personally do not like examinations.

For one thing, if a teacher is able to get to know his or her students at all during a class year, it seems incomprehensible to me that this teacher needs an exam to know which students have or have not understood the material well enough to advance to the next level.

Another point against exams is a practice that I used to engage in. I used to get my roommates, who took different classes (often in widely diverse fields), to give me their exam questions. I didn't study for these exams, I didn't ask any questions about the material over which I would be tested--often the only thing I knew about the exam was the name of the course.

I rarely failed these exams and often did better on them than my friends who were taking the classes! I just know how to do well on tests.

When all is said and done, there seem to me to be two basic reasons for exams and exam scores:

1: To give the students something to refer to. Something concrete to look at and say, "Look, I'm doing better," or "Oh, I'm not doing so well."

2: To give people who either do not have the expertise required in the particular field to evaluate the examinee (such as HR workers) or those who do not have the time or opportunity to meet the examinee in person, such as state evaluators, some indication as to the merit of the examinee.

For these two reasons alone, I cannot see how our society can function without exams, but I wish we could figure something out!

 

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jespearce | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 7, 2010 at 3:14 PM (Answer #64)

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I feel like we are testing our children so much that we don't have any time left to actually teach them. Some districts think that we are preparing the students for statewide tests by assessing them constantly and that the assessments are actually teaching the kids. That is a ridiculous thought because students need to see the skills and strategies modeled for them several times before we can expect them to use them.

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:18 PM (Answer #65)

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I teach one class of Freshmen, and as our state tests the students in 8th grade, many of my kids are so bound to the 5-paragraph essay format that they're unable to break away from it.  Sometimes, at the beginning of the school year, I even get 5-paragraph essays when I ask for personal journal responses.  While I understand the theory behind standardized testing, it's such a shame that teachers feel such pressure that they need to teach to a test. 

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picturesque | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 26, 2010 at 5:58 AM (Answer #66)

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I think examinations are very useful for students to improve their knowledge. Perhaps their are some demerits associated with examination but i see them as an incentive for students to improve their knowledge. I opine it because many students do not take interests in studies. So examinations at least provoke students to improve their knowledge some how.

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mrsramones | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 28, 2010 at 8:23 PM (Answer #67)

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For me, examinations helps students understand what they know and what they lack in a certain area of study. Getting a low score should not be taken against the students nor teachers. Examinations in both form or oral and written should be diagnostic in nature to know more the need to sustain or change certain education system that exists. This definitely helps students and educators to see the bigger picture of what has been inputed to the students' mind.

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mitali27 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:05 AM (Answer #68)

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Swami Vivekananda said education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life.

But today's education system is cramming oriented where examinations only test a student's learning ability and not their command over the subject. Good grades do not indicate a student's aptitude or his/her proficiency in the particular subject.

So I fully agree that examinations are killing education.

Children find examinations more menacing than ghost stories. Excessive study pressure is making both students and parents' life a veritable hell.

According to Swami Vivekananda education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. He said education is not book-learning. It is the training by which the expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful.

Swamiji said real education is that which rings out the strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy and the courage of a lion.

In consonance to Swamiji's view of education, I think we should have examinations that test our strength of mind, and character and hence help to expand our intellect and not the stereo-typed examinations which only test our memory.

I sincerely hope, pray and also take responsibility as a teacher to ensure that we can bring into practice a new cult of education where Homo sapiens would metamorphose to human beings.

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picturesque | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:40 PM (Answer #69)

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Examinations also provide students with the opportunity to write more and more as quickly as possible. So they improve their writing skills with mental skills because they have to recall all they have studied.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM (Answer #70)

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Examinations are popular with the politicians who are responsible for funding education because exam results are easily measurable. It is easy for a legislator or other person to see numbers and draw conclusions from them, which may or not truly reflect that which the student has learned. The problem is, there is so much emphasis put on exams and exam scores that both teachers and students are the worse for it. Teachers find their success as educators measured by those results--note the recent nonsense of paying teachers by test scores without regard to the myriad other factors that can affect scores. Teachers are then inclined to teach ONLY to the exam, which deprives students of a well rounded education. Students also are constantly regaled with the importance of test results, and often suffer from test anxiety. There needs to be a more holistic method of measuring academic success than numbers on an exam which the teacher did not prepare. As an interesting side note, in my state, students must take an "end of course" test, and the teacher is not allowed to even see the questions before or after testing. Errors in the test are unaddressed, and both teacher and student are left to wonder.

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